Journal Title: Wide Screen
Vol. 9, No.1, July 2022
Abstract: This article has two facets, a to-date survey and implications for past and future screening venues and communities. The bulk of the article chronicles the creation, formatting, distinctions, and aims of three primary online digital cinematheques, The Midnight Now, The Museum of Home Video, and Valley Vox Theatre. I detail the development and interrelationship of the overlapping and occasionally shared personnel and audiences of these platforms, then go on to then encapsulate their evolution and attempts to sustain longer-range plans amidst increasing vaccination rates and the re-openings of conventional theaters.
The article otherwise positions the three digital cinematheques as communal correctives to the proto-#MeToo leadership scandals that plagued analogue, forerunner cinematheques such as Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse and Los Angeles’s CineFamily. The creators and runners of these COVID-prompted online, Los Angeles based digital cinematheques were abused staff and programmers of CineFamily, and they have made a conscious and deliberative effort to shape their forums as a de facto rejection of the toxicity of disgraced venues. The channels thereby serve as something of a reclamation-cum-redemption of elements worth salvaging from earlier cinephile communities and spaces, while pointing to the progressive potential these alternative online spaces hold for post-COVID exhibition and media consumption.