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classically Inclined

In the last few years, DVDs have become the most popular medium of movie distribution after a film has left theaters. This leaves many fans unsettled since the only way they can watch many classic movies is on the small screen and in the privacy of a home.

But a recently introduced series at AMC Veterans 24 is dedicating three of its largest show rooms to feature some of the great landmark films of the past.

“No one is doing what we are,” Andy Miller said, who is operations manager of AMC Veterans 24. “We are giving people a chance to see their favorites with twice the fun.”

Combining entertainment with innovation, the Midnight Movie Classic program will give a new generation a chance to see classic films as they were originally intended — on the big screen.

AMC Veterans 24 developed the Midnight Movie Classic concept in response to feedback from members of the local community.

“I talk to people in the community everyday,” program director Hal Garrett said. “People I meet in the grocery stores and in restaurants are always asking me to resuscitate movie classics.”

Although the notion of revitalizing memorable films is not entirely new, there haven’t been many recent attempts to target one of the largest sectors of movie ticket buyers — the student population.

“Although other theaters have developed similar programs where they show family oriented movies for the holidays, there are still no such programs that cater to the younger audience,” Miller said.

The program will feature three movies each Friday and Saturday that start just after midnight. Films range from comedies such as Caddy Shack and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, to student favorites such as Clockwork Orange and Spinal Tap, to Academy Award winners, such as The Godfather and Goodfellas.

“As long as the audience supports the idea, our goal is to feature three or more new titles a week” Garrett said. “We are also considering contests and giveaways to promote the program and to make it fun for everyone.”

The Midnight Movie Classic program offers something for every age group. Younger audiences have a tendency to be fond of the conception because the show times are convenient.

“Most of the movies end by midnight, but midnight is when most of my friends want to hang out a see a movie,” 17 year-old audience member Mike Williams said during a recent midnight showing of Scarface.

The diversity of films in the program is not just for youngsters; the showings are also being geared toward the older members of society.

“This concept is very common in bigger cities like New York, but although it exists in Tampa, not too many theatres are jumping on the bandwagon,” David Baez, a 46 year-old Midnight Movie Classic attendee said. “I hope they keep it up so I can bring my children to see the same films I saw when I was their age.”

The AMC Veterans 24 Movie Midnight Classics is the only program in Tampa that gives movie buffs the opportunity to see old films on the silver screen.