How Do Independent Cinemas Work? An Insider’s Look into Indie Movie Theaters

If you want to see the latest box office smash, you won’t find it at an independent movie theater. These movie theaters only screen independent, arthouse, or international films. In other words, you won’t find anything mainstream like you would at a multiplex. Instead, you’ll find unique treasures that focus on the art of filmmaking.

The History of Independent Theater

Back in the silent film era, most theaters were independent. This would change in the 1930s as the rise of talkies – films with sound – required a bit more sophisticated equipment to screen them.

The smaller cinemas were unable to compete with the bigger chains. A Supreme Court case, the United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. in 1948 blocked movie studios from owning their own cinemas, thus allowing independent cinemas to flourish in the 1950s.

Today, independent cinemas have found their own way. While there are many bigger theaters to catch films on the big screen, only independent cinemas retain that initial charm. They continue to show films that aren’t part of the mainstream, keeping the art of true cinema alive.

Benefits of Seeing Movies at Independent Cinemas

Independent theaters are usually smaller and cozier, integrating with the local community in a historical or nontraditional venue. They also don’t focus on major endorsements to entice filmgoers to the theater.

These theaters instead cultivate a reputation for the arts by curating films that are more unique. There is more mystique surrounding these films, and those going to see them may know very little about the film before they find a seat in the theater.

While plenty of people want to see the latest blockbuster, there are just as many who wish to see films with that artistic cinematic approach. Independent theaters give everyone a chance to have an enriching cultural experience by viewing these films.

These theaters put respect back into cinema, which at its very basis was an art form. Independent films have never lost that aspect – while mainstream movies tend to blow things up and have the same typical storylines. Even though mainstream films put A-list actors into the cast or typically have huge production budgets, independent films have their own special allure that keeps filmgoers flocking in.

Many of the films found in independent theaters are shown in film festivals, earning awards for their remarkable depictions. It’s a chance for you to see something unique and gain a new appreciation of this legendary form of art.

The Angelika Film Center & Café – NYC is a prime example of an independent cinema in the SoHo District where guests can experience these films. This iconic landmark has graced Lower Manhattan since 1989, a spectacular place for cinema lovers to break free from the mainstream.

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