UPDATE – 19th July 2016 – Just found this utterly perfect cinema protest picture via ebay and had to add it to this feature:
I don’t know who these guys are as there’s very little information about the picture, but they seem to be protesting outside a porn cinema with two of them dressed as the KKK. Annoyingly the picture is slightly too low-res to be able to clearly see what their signs says, but it looks like the far left one says “Down On Pornography (then something unreadble) while the middle says “Down On This Type Shows”, hold on a minute…
Here’s proof that film and cinemas can be a powerful force in people’s lives and opinions, because today we’re taking a look at cinema protests in all its different forms. Starting with this example of the furore that Monty Python’s Life Of Brian caused upon its USA release in 1979, I’m not sure which cinema this was taken outside but, as is often the case, when religion and comedy mix it up someone is always ready to get offended. Us? We’d have gladly thrown down the $ to see both Life Of Brian AND Skatetown USA!
Of course adult films have always been a hot topic when it comes to protesting, here’s a look at what happened outside the Frisco in New York city, while it was showing the porn blockbuster double bill of Deep Throat and The Devil In Miss Jones.
Interestingly it’s not only adult themed films that can cause issues, here’s a heated protest from Seattle in 1975, the contentious film being picketed? Walt Disney’s One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing. The protest is over the stereotyping of Asians in films.
Back to the world of the porn cinema with Cinema X in Baltimore which became the target of a long and ultimately successful campaign to close it down in 1981, here are the protestors in action.
Now it’s not only the general public that will protest, here’s an example of the workers protesting their own employer, it’s 1991 and the projectionists of Cineplex Odeon protest a screening of Dracula. The signs read: “Watch For: Poor Focus, Bad Sound, Broken Film plus much more”
So do protests work? Possibly, but the best thing is that people are actually out there voicing their opinions, even if you don’t agree with them it’s fascinating to see the important part that films and cinemas can play in people’s lives, cultures and neighbourhoods.