The other day, I told you how Landmark Theaters planned on opening up a giant multiplex in Los Angeles, catering only to independent film. When completed, The Landmark Film Center will become the country's largest independent film multiplex: 12 auditoriums. Three-stories tall. Stadium seating. The works.
In New York City, we're lucky to have a number of theaters that house only independent film. However, the surrounding suburbs have nothing. Most cities across the country are lucky to have one, maybe two theaters committed to showing independent film. And some of the ones I've been in were old, with seats so uncomfortable you couldn't help but feel antsy a half-hour into the film. So, is Landmark on the right track here?
When I first wrote about the new Landmark theater, one commenter felt a move like this was more about money then reaching out to the community. But isn't that a good thing? A more attractive theater may help a smaller film earn more at the box office. A more attractive theater may command the attention of a community who aren't as aware of independent film as, say, Los Angeles, New York and Austin. (Yes, I had to include Austin -- they do it up nice out there.) I know what you're thinking: "But dude, the theater in question is in Los Angeles. I'm in Montana, what the hell do I get out of this?" Well, potentially, an independent film multiplex of your own.
So, I ask you: Is a big, comfortable multiplex the answer to getting more people involved in independent film? Or, with its tremendous commercial appeal, does the multiplex go against everything independent film stands for in the first place?