Tag Archives: Ben Barenholtz

Master of the Midnight Movie (02/11)

It has been a project of mine this winter to see all the David Lynch films that I have yet to see. Well, last night I watched Eraserhead. What I want to bring up about this movie, is not the movie, but the story behind the movie and its cult status. (The funny thing is the movie and Lynch’s story about making the movie run about the same time).

Jack Nance as Henry Spencer

Jack Nance as Henry Spencer

Eraserhead was released in 1977 and thanks to Ben Barenholtz – it reached cult status. How you ask?

Because of Barenholtz’s NYC’s Elgin Theatre, (a movie house in dire need of repairs but at which played the non-studio and art films of the day) and by originating the “Midnight Movie” concept for cultists and the youth/college market.

Sure, the first few showings may have not been sold out, but Eraserhead ran in the ‘midnight movie’ circuit for 4 years and by then there were lines around the block. A job well done.

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