Survival in the age of Netflix
Using a cemetery to hold movie screenings is almost too perfect, given the number of think pieces proclaiming the death of movie theaters, and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon that make it easier than ever to binge watch whatever and wherever you want. Nevertheless, Cinespia continues to successfully draw audiences away from their couches -- a fact that doesn’t surprise Wyatt. "This is something streaming can never replicate. Theatres have survived the advent of television, home video, and now streaming. Nothing will ever stop people from getting together to have the shared experience of a great film on the screen.” Case in point: Cinespia teamed up with Amazon Studios as a presenting partner last year, a clear indication that the cultural impact of these screenings is being felt elsewhere in Hollywood.
“The passion and love for movies by the Cinespia team and the audience got our attention immediately,” explains Bob Berney, Head of Marketing & Distribution for Amazon Studios. “The consistent size of the audience and expansion of the program to new venues around the city give us a perfect way to introduce our movie program in general, and specific titles, to this rabid and frequent movie-going community.”
While the partnership clearly helps Amazon reach a large and enthusiastic audience, Wyatt says teaming up with the studio also affords Cinespia opportunities to offer its fans a more a robust line-up, like premieres of the studio’s films. “[Amazon] has stepped into a space that a lot of the major studios are too afraid to occupy because of the bottom line... They respect the integrity of what we do, they trust us, and appreciate that we expose a younger audience to classic film.”
“As for me,” says Wyatt, “I’ll be continuing to bring people together for great films as long as I live” -- a sentiment that many of Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s permanent residents would likely have agreed with.