Saturday, September 3 is National Cinema Day, a new event featuring $3 ticket prices for all movies all day – even those screened in Premium Large Formats, such as IMAX, MX4D, ScreenX, and 3D. National Cinema Day was created in an effort to boost theatre attendance. Major theatre chains in Los Angeles are participating, such as AMC, Regal, Regency, CGV, and Laemmle, though not all of them are splashing the event on their home page, leaving customers to stumble upon the discount when they happen to purchase tix for Saturday screenings.
Fortuitously, some classic and cult science fiction, fantasy, and horror films are returning to theatres this week. In addition to current theatrical releases such as The Invitation, Three Thousand Years of Longing, and Alienoid, audiences will be able to enjoy two films from decades past, Jaws (1975) and The Blob (1958), along with last year’s biggest blockbuster, about a certain well-known web-slinger.
Leading the way on September 1 is Spider-Man: No Way Home. The box office behemoth has been expanded with additional footage in what is being called a “More Fun Stuff Version,” which will screen in two special formats: 4DX and ScreenX. The former provides motion-simulation plus inhouse lighting and physical effects; the latter surrounds audiences by filling their peripheral vision with footage projected on the side walls of the theatres. Regal Cinemas is offering these formats at several Los Angeles theatres: 4DX at Regal North Hollywood and Regal LA Live; ScreenX at Edwards Alhambra Renaissance, Edwards Valencia, and Edwards West Covina. L.A. theatres showing the film in standard format include Universal Cinema AMC Citywalk Hollywood, Regency Van Nuys Plant 16, AMC Burbank 16, AMC Century City 15, Regency Granada Hills 9, Alamo Drafthouse Downtown LA, and AMC Fallbrook 7 (find full list here).
Any excuse to see Spider-Man: No Way Home on the big screen is good enough for us, but we’re not sure the film really needs “added and extended scenes.” The movie was fine in its original form; hopefully the so-called “More Fun Stuff Version” will not ruin the film by providing way more fan service.
Also opening on September 1, Jaws has been converted into two special formats for its reissue; audiences can now see it in either IMAX or Digital 3D. Since movies converted from 2D tend not to exploit the full potential of 3D, we don’t expect the Great White to fly off the screen into our lap, but at $3 a pop, it’s probably worth checking out. We imagine the large IMAX screen will emphasize the vastness of the ocean during the third-act shark hunt and increase the intensity of the attack scenes. Find out which theatres are using which format here.
Finally, The Blob hits screens on September 2. This is the original 1958 cult film that was remade in 1988; though its low budget and limited special effects are dated, the move deserves credit for creating a truly original monster, and it has also earned a place in cinema history as the feature film debut of Steve McQueen. The movie is playing in standard format only, so you won’t be saving any extra money on PLF screenings. Find theatres showing the film on Fandango. You can read a retrospective about the making of the film at Cinefantastique Online.