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Roger Ebert Predicted On-Demand Movies 24 Years Ago

He said, quote, “We will have high-definition, wide-screen television sets and a push-button dialing system to order the movie you want at the time you want it. You’ll not go to a video store but instead order a movie on demand and then pay for it.

“Videocassette tapes as we know them now will be obsolete both for showing prerecorded movies and for recording movies. People will record films on 8mm and will play them back using laser-disk/CD technology.

“I also am very, very excited by the fact that before long, alternative films will penetrate the entire country.  Today 75% of the gross from a typical art film in America comes from as few as six…six…different theaters in six different cities.

“90% of the American motion-picture marketplace never shows art films. With this revolution in delivery and distribution, anyone, in any size town or hamlet, will see the movies he or she wants to see.”

You have to admit, he was basically DEAD-ON. Okay, nobody’s using 8mm. And we watch movies on DVD, not CD…but hey, it’s still a digital format, so we can probably call him right on that point.

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