Between January 1st and March 12th, 2020, I saw 30 “new” movies. In this case, “new” means either a new movie released in 2020 or a film released in 2019 that I saw before the end of the qualifying awards season (Feb. 9). 20 of these movies were at indoor theaters, including four in the Los Angeles area and one in Chicago. The other 10 were viewed off my laptop – nine of which I screened in my home.
Between March 14th and the morning of this publication (August 19th), I screened 86 new movies in a row in my home. 84 of them off my laptop, two off my phone. Over the past five months, my house has turned into an active movie theater. It’s also been a TV show screening room, as I’ve watched episodes of a number of new series in advance.
Since I became a member of the Critics Choice Association in 2012, I’ve had the chance to screen some big awards contenders early in my house. But that’s strictly during awards season (Mid-October to December). During the rest of the year, I would occasionally get links to some smaller films. A few years ago Netflix started amping up the number of original films. The amount of “at home screenings” had been steadily growing over the past two or three years.
But I never could’ve anticipated anything like this. A quarantine combined with the rise of new streaming services providing more and more content. More smaller studios trying to break through. and big movies destined for the big screen that end-up on smaller ones. I never thought I’d be watching full-fledge Walt Disney Pictures releases in advance in my house NOT during awards season. If you had told me that even two years ago, I would’ve called you nuts.
This weekend, much of the country is getting ready to return to indoor cinemas. But not where I live in New York State. Not yet at least. I think it’s still going to be a little while longer before Governor Cuomo approves indoor theater re-openings. He thankfully has allowed Drive-Ins to have one of their most noteworthy and successful seasons EVER. I may end-up seeing a new release or two at a Drive-In before the season’s over because it may be my only way of seeing that particular picture.
Otherwise, the LCJ Cinema is still very much open for business. And I’m probably gonna get Employee of the Month for the sixth straight time.