Day 38: All the World’s a Stage

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February 7, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

I love movies, but for me, it takes a very special movie to warrant a trip to the theater.  I find IMAX movies to be absolutely amazing the full theater experience is almost always worth the expense, but for the most part, I see going to the movie theater almost comparable to how air travel evolved: first, it was a luxury and always an experience to behold, then, over time, it lost its shine and for the most part became an expensive obligation to get from A to B (or in the case of theaters, to see the latest film).  Unless I’m really excited about a new release, or I think that the movie itself will warrant the kind of experience that only a real theater can deliver, I’m more than content to pocket the change and watch it at home.  I know I don’t hold a popular opinion on the matter, and I’ve been argued with many times about how theaters offer the hands-down best way to ever watch any film ever, but I think today’s project will change some peoples’ minds.

Alt Screen is an online showcase of alternative cinema.  Guerrilla theater.  Rogue screenings of classic films in very non-traditional locations around New York City.  Want to see Woody Allan’s Manhattan in Central Park at dusk?  How about Strangers on a Train screened on an old elevated railway?  Or is outdoor cinema not your thing, perhaps?  Well how does an interactive “Sing & Swear Along” to Team America: World Police sound?  Alt Screen is a portal to the cinematic underground.

Alt Screen spotlights films playing outside the multiplex and under the radar, or what are technically called “non-theatrical screenings”: industry-speak for every film that is NOT a first-run feature in its official commercial release. That doesn’t mean we’re “anti-mainstream” or “anti-Hollywood.” It means we focus on the movies and events that are likely to be ignored or given short shrift by New York’s metropolitan dailies and (unsteadily declining) alternative weeklies.

Alt Screen is looking to develop and enhance their platform.  Having proven themselves as a popular tool for rogue movie buffs in NYC, they’re looking to beef up their site with a more robust database and more contributors, and are turning to Kickstarter to help them scale up their operations.

I can’t think of a more fitting way to watch some movies than outside of traditional theater, but finding these magical little events requires some digging since sometimes keeping a low profile is a priority for fanatical audiences.  Alt Screen is keeping their ear to the ground and making it possible for us rogue film fans to find and take part in the off-the-grid screenings.  I only wish there were more of that kind of thing in my town.

They’re offering a ton of rewards that movie lovers will appreciate, so if you’re into great movies but maybe the idea of stale popcorn, sticky floors and commercial box offices at unreasonably high prices isn’t really your thing, you might think about backing Alt Cinema before February 17.


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