Casablanca on the big screen - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:27 AM
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Default Casablanca on the big screen

This past New Year's Eve I saw the first showing(of 3) of Casablanca at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square, MA. I guess they usually show it on Valentine's night but the movie will not be available. It's being pulled, for a year or 2. I didn't know they did that. I'm not sure how these independent film theaters work but I was pretty happy to see my favorite movie on the big screen.
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:07 PM
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This past New Year's Eve I saw the first showing(of 3) of Casablanca at the Brattle Theater in Harvard Square, MA. I guess they usually show it on Valentine's night but the movie will not be available. It's being pulled, for a year or 2. I didn't know they did that. I'm not sure how these independent film theaters work but I was pretty happy to see my favorite movie on the big screen.
I haven't been to the Brattle in ages. Was it a film print or digital?
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:00 PM
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I haven't been to the Brattle in ages. Was it a film print or digital?
Definitely film. One of the guys who works there(forget his name), he wore glasses, came out and said it was a 35mm print. He said it won't be available again for a year or two.

So do studios who OWN the actual FILMS rent them out to these theaters for a fee, and only do this for a certain time, then put the films away until some future time?
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:47 AM
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I know the guy who owns an independent cinemas and here's what I've gleaned from him:

To show a film publicly, you must have an agreement in place with whoever owns the distribution rights. Usually the deal is for a percentage of the ticket sales.

You are allowed to own prints of films as a private collector and watch them whenever you want for your own viewing pleasure. But public showings require permission of the distribution rights holder. It doesn't matter if you happen to own a print of 'The Lion King', if Disney puts it in the "vault" then no public showings are allowed.

The studios are usually pretty gracious about allowing showings of their old movies. Disney is the major exception because of their "vault" business model that I've never really understood. But there are other reasons why a studio might not allow a public showing of a certain film. Usually because it is in conflict with an exclusivity agreement they've made with somebody else.

For example, whenever a sequel is coming out, people have renewed interest in the previous installments. If a new 'X-Men' movie is coming out, people will want to catch up and revisit the old ones. So a television network might organize an X-Men movie marathon in which they show each of the previous X-Men movies on tv leading up to the theatrical release of the new one. The television network will offer the distributor extra money for exclusive rights to show those old movies publicly for a set period of time because they don't want a rival television network to be showing the same movies and syphoning off their audience. This also forbids independent cinemas from showing these films even though they represent a very small competition for tv networks. It would violate the exclusivity clause of the contract to allow it and the tv network could easily sue the distributor for breaking their contract.

As for the physical copies of the films. It is usually provided by the studio/distributor to the cinema, although some are rented and borrowed from private collectors. Most films are distributed digitally now on small hard drives. A few years ago studios stopped providing prints to cinemas and switched entirely to digital distribution. They even started destroying the prints of their films from their libraries when they converted them to digital.

There has been a bit of a revival in distributing films on film, championed by Christopher Nolan who used his clout to get 'Interstellar' distributed this way. Quentin Tarantino and a few others have followed suite, but they are by far the minority. Most cinemas either no longer have the equipment to show 35mm, or no longer have trained projectionists, or don't feel their patrons see any value in film over digital.
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