Movie intermissions are necessary in the age of long movies
J Thoendell stashed this in Film
In the early days of cinema, intermissions were required simply because movies were printed on multiple reels of film, and a break was needed once the first reel was complete, so the second could be loaded. Intermissions stuck around, though, well after moviehouses solved that problem with multiple projectors. That’s because they served another need: giving the audience a break. And some movies—Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Ben-Hur, Gandhi—even made the intermission part of their narrative structure.
Today, the biggest blockbusters are, on average, longer than they were just 20 years ago. Vulture has taken to offering guides for would-be audiences on the best moments to take much needed bathroom breaks during particularly long movies. But we need to take a more drastic step. If the film reaches or exceeds 2½ in length, give us a break! Bring back the intermission.