At the “Big Screen is Back” initiative on Wednesday, Arnold Schwarzenegger and J.J. Abrams joined fellow filmmakers and Hollywood studio executives in an effort to motivate a return to the theater-going lifestyle.
As reported by The Associated Press, the event was socially distanced and held at AMC Century City 15 theater in Los Angeles. Before speaking, Schwarzenegger chanted, “We are back! We are back!” He described the importance of getting movie theaters back into commission and creating the experience of attending a movie in theaters once again.
“Now it’s time to get back to the big screen,” Schwarzenegger told the audience. Other speakers included J.J. Abrams, Maggie Q, Sam Richardson, Janicza Bravo, and David Bruckner.
“If you have the movie and you don’t have the theaters, you don’t have nothing,” Schwarzenegger said. “Yes, we’ve seen over the past year in the pandemic, that people watch movies on their little iPhone and iPad and put on their glasses to see what’s going on there. They are missing special and visual effects and all the great stuff you usually see on the big screen.”
Each speaker reportedly pushed the revival of theaters as the film industry begins to recover from the coronavirus pandemic during which audiences became accustomed to experiencing movies and television shows at home.
The event lasted 3 hours and also included movie clips and trailers from Disney, Sony, and other studios. Extended footage was reportedly displayed from Warner Bros.’ “In the Heights,” Disney’s “Cruella,” Universal’s “F9,” Paramount’s “Snake Eyes” and Aretha Franklin’s biopic “Respect” from MGM Studios/United Artist Releasing.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige spoke in a pre-recorded message before introducing a sizzle reel that showed “Black Widow.”
“We set out to craft an epic cinematic experience that is visually spectacular and totally engrossing with every inch of the frame,” Feige said. “We want you to feel like you’re part of the action. It’s by far the best way to see a Marvel movie and any movie period.”