Robert D. Spake on experiencing classic movies on the big screen…
This past week I was fortunate enough to have seen one of my all-time favourite movies. What’s so special about that? I mean, I can watch my favourite movies all the time on DVD. However, in the particular instance I was able to experience the film in its natural habitat because my local cinema had a one-off showing of Saturday Night Fever.
I first discovered the film six or seven years ago but being in my twenties has obviously meant that I’ve only ever been able to see it on the small screen. It instantly became one of my favourites and I’ve watched it a lot since then, but seeing it in the cinema was another experience altogether. If you’re reading this site I’m assuming you love films, so a lot of you will understand when I say that seeing a film on the big screen in the cinema is an amazing experience – that moment when the lights go down and you’re transported into another world, there’s not much that’s better in my opinion, and it’s made even better when it’s a film you love.
Part of the charm of films is that they can be relived over and over again, but I’m always a little sad that I’ll probably never get to see most of my favourite films on the big screen because as much as I love watching films at home it’ll never be able to replicate the feeling I get when sitting in the cinema. I would love it if all cinemas had a ‘Nostalgia Night’ where, perhaps once a month, they’d play a movie from the past.
Now, I don’t know the logistics of it or how feasible or profitable it would be so I’m looking at this purely from a film-lover’s perspective, but I don’t really see how it would be a massive drain on resources. There are so many mediocre films being churned out (along with some really good ones) that it’d be great to re-live some of the classics, and introduce a younger generation to them. I know some films do get re-released, but it seems mostly to be 3D conversions so I’d prefer to see some older ones. I think it’d be amazing to relive some of the historical spectacles like Ben-Hur or Spartacus, and it would also give people the opportunity to see classics they have missed. One of the big films that I’ve never actually seen is Gone with the Wind, and I’m sure there are many people out there who haven’t seen Casablanca and other such films.
I know there are a couple of companies that do similar things to this. There are ones that specialise in open air cinemas and they do tours around the country. There’s another company that provide immersive experiences, for example, while watching The Shawshank Redemption you’re dressed in prisoner’s garb and you’re grouped with people in cells. Those are all cool but they’re niche experiences and they’re not easily accessible for everyone so I think cinemas could do a bit more to celebrate the past.
Does your local cinema have nostalgic screenings? Which films would you love to see back on the big screen?