Small-town independent movie theaters may soon be driven into extinction by digital movie houses. The LA times reports that “On the redwood-lined banks of the Russian River, dozens of local residents and tourists gathered in a grassy field on a hot Sunday afternoon, lining up to buy raffle tickets and $10 plates of barbecued chicken as a bluegrass group rehearsed a number for a Ramble at the Rio concert.
“It might have been a church social or a school fundraising picnic. But this event was to raise money to save a centerpiece of the community: the Rio Theater.
“Built from a World War II Quonset hut and adorned with murals from local artists, the Rio has been screening films in this town of about 1,200 people since 1950. Located in the wine country north of San Francisco off the Bohemian Highway, a few miles away from the Bodega Bay filming location of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “The Birds,” the Rio has survived fires, floods and multiple owners. Continue reading “The Last Picture Show”
Let’s not forget that the recent election was largely won on the strength of one cell phone and an obscure media outlet. While this hasn’t gotten much retrospective attention, the now-famous “47-percent” video probably would not have been made or widely circulated even a few years ago.
The recent ubiquity of camera-equipped mobile phones is changing political communication through a new popular documentary practice, primarily among young users. For some time it has been known that cell phones have enabled uprisings, flash mobs, and other forms of social activism, just as phones have also helped disaster communication and the containment of disease epidemics around the world.
And let’s not forget Mother Jones, a name unknown to most Americans till this year, which took the 47-percent video to the net and made it go viral. While hardly a tiny magazine, Mother Jones was reaching less than 100,000 readers in the 1990s until it launched an online format. Continue reading “Small is powerful”