An Ode To Movie Theaters In Movies [Be Reel Podcast]

Hollywood is a self-reflexive industry, and filmmakers a self-reflexive bunch. Case in point, if Be Reel were to undertake “Movies About Making Movies” as a podcast category, it would include more titles than we could probably watch in a year. Now, there aren’t quite as many films focused on where we watch our movies, but the history of theaters popping up in the pictures stretches all the way back to the transportive fantasy of Buster Keaton’s “Sherlock Jr.” (1924) or the beautiful testimonial to escapism that concludes “Sullivan’s Travels” (1941). 

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With theaters around the U.S. already open or on that path this summer, we’re taking an episode to explore films that hinge on the theatrical experience, narratively speaking. We endeavored to grab titles from a few different subgenres: “The Last Action Hero” (1993), wherein theaters are literal portals into films; “The Majestic” (2001), wherein movie houses function as nostalgic settings; and “The Blob” (1958), wherein the theater represents a public gathering space for simultaneously catalyzing and consuming carnage. 

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Of course, the list of movies set in and around theaters goes on, and our discussion also briefly touches on titles like “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985), “Inglorious Bastards” (2009), “Targets” (1968), and many more. Hit us up on Twitter or via [email protected] to shout out your favorite film that intimately involves a theater. And we hope you’ll support your local movie house in person just as soon as you’re feeling comfortable.

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As always, The Playlist Podcast is part of The Playlist Podcast Network—which includes Be ReelDeep FocusThe Fourth Wall, and more—and can be heard on iTunesAnchorFM, SoundcloudStitcher, and now on Spotify. You can stream the podcast via the AnchorFM embed below or up top to listen on this page. Follow us on iTunes, and you’ll get this podcast as well as our other shows regularly. Be sure to subscribe and drop us a comment or a rating, as we appreciate it. Thank you for listening.