MUBI Podcast: Season 2, Episode 2 - The Elgin and "El Topo" Plunge NYC into "Midnite Madness"

Our season “Only in Theaters” continues with the birth of the “Midnite Movie” phenomenon.


In 1970, a scruffy repertory theater—led by the visionary Ben Barenholtz—quietly placed a print ad in the Village Voice, advertising midnight screenings of a Spanish-language Western they claimed was "too heavy to be shown any other way."  The movie was Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo, and it'd kick off the "Midnite Movie" craze that changed moviegoing.

Hear the history of the Elgin Theater and its legendary, weed-soaked screenings of  El Topo, featuring commentary from ex-Voice critic J. Hoberman, Amy Nicholson of the podcast "Unspooled," ex-Elgin programmers Chuck Zlatkin and Steve Gould...and Jodorowsky himself.

The second season of the MUBI Podcast titled “Only in Theaters” tells surprising stories of individual cinemas that had huge impacts on film history, and in some cases, history in general.

Listen to episode 2 below or wherever you get your podcasts: 

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MUBI PodcastAudioAlejandro Jodorowsky
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