“Movie Show Plus” adapts to life without movies


While Hollywood came to a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic, the Metro Detroit-based “Movie Show Plus” film program is making some changes and emphasizing the “Plus” in its title.

The show, which airs at 10:30 a.m. Sunday on TV20 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday on WADL-TV (Channel 38), typically features film reviews, interviews and other feature films related to cinema.

As theaters closed and new movies were wiped out, “Movie Show Plus” – which underwent several makeovers but aired in the Metro Detroit area, one way or another, for most of the past 20 years – is now featuring interviews with movie theater owners and local businesses to see how they are responding and dealing with the COVID-19 shutdown.

“We’re still ‘Movie Show Plus’, the idea being that we’re always talking about movies, and we’re open to whatever we want,” said executive producer and host of ‘Movie Show Plus’ Tom Santilli. “We are looking, in the short term, to ways to provide local audiences with information about the film industry in Detroit.”

The show was on hiatus for most of March and all of April, and returned with a new episode on May 3, which included talks with Emagine Entertainment chairman Paul Glantz, the Maple Theater Managing Partner Ruth Daniels and a Conversation between Santilli and “Movie Show Plus” co-host Greg Russell.

Upcoming episodes will feature more interviews with local theater owners as well as stories about the local businesses the show has featured in previous episodes.

“There wasn’t really a news element to the show before, and now it’s all news-based,” said Santilli, who started with “Movie Show Plus” in 2012 and took over. the next generation as executive producer in 2018.

“Movie Show Plus” is backed by sponsorships and commercials, and when those dried up as a result of the stay-at-home order, so did the show’s revenue.

While the show typically pays for airtime on TV20, the station has licensed “Movie Show Plus” to broadcast new episodes for free until June.

“Our whole business model was thrown out the window, which is why we had to look to something new,” Santilli said. “We adapt, like everyone else.”

And longtime film buff and film critic Santilli also finds himself adjusting to a life without films.

“It hurts like death,” says Santilli, who is used to seeing several films a week in theaters. “When people experience death, there is a feeling of emptiness, and that’s how it is. Movies are what I personally do to get away from it all. It’s my therapy, and I miss seeing movies. in a theater and this experience shared with other people. “

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