double feature

(redirected from double features)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

double feature

A program of two feature-length films shown one after the other, or (by extension) any program featuring two primary events back-to-back. They are showing the original film and its sequel in a fantastic double bill this Friday! Both the governor and state senator will speak as part of a double bill at the fundraising gala later this evening.
See also: double, feature

double feature

Also, double bill. A program consisting of two full-length films shown for the price of a single ticket. For example, It was a double feature and lasted five hours, or The women's conference had a double bill, first speakers from China and then visiting guests from the rest of the world . This expression is occasionally loosely used for other paired events (as in the second example). [c. 1930]
See also: double, feature

double feature

Two movies for the price of one. Movie theater owners during the Great Depression of the 1930s hit on the idea of attracting more business during those troubled times by offering not one but two feature-length films. That was in addition to the newsreels, cartoons, serial episodes, coming-attraction trailers, and short subjects that moviegoers had grown accustomed to seeing. The two films were not of equal quality. One was the feature, the star-studded movie that people wanted to see. The second feature was a B movie. Double features lasted through World War II up to the 1960s, when the studios insisting that theaters rent two films at a time was declared illegal.
See also: double, feature
References in periodicals archive ?
By the late 1930s, double features were often viewed by the media as undermining the quality of motion picture exhibition.
Exhibitors may have also objected to double features as they increased film rental and associated programming costs.
Aside from media attacks on double features, the public itself had mixed feelings about them.
Double features create an added programming dilemma for exhibitors, namely: How do exhibitors pair movies together in ways that may be appealing to patrons while also maximizing revenue?
Very little research has been conducted on cinema programming choices and double features. Chambers observed that double features may appeal to a broader audience than single features, "since two diversified feature films may appeal to two distinct sections of the market the combined audiences would naturally be larger" (1938: 234).
(1994: 484) One practice that drive-ins often continue today is the exhibition of double features. This practice tends to be unique to drive-ins and is not common at indoor cinemas (Rhodes, 2011).
The remainder of this paper examines the exhibition practices of drive-in theatres and focuses largely on programming decisions regarding double features. In particular, this research addresses two questions:
What influences the pairing of double features? In particular, what impact do new releases, genre of movie shown, duration, and ratings of movies have on the decisions to pair movies together?
Next, to confirm that the research was worth pursuing further (i.e., that most drive-ins did in fact show double features) the distribution of features shown by the numbers of screens each cinema had was examined.
From our sample, there were a total of 155 single screen venues showing double features and another 67 double screen venues also showing double features (giving a total of 578 possible screen showings).
Release dates are a key consideration for drive-ins when deciding which movies to pair together for double features. Consider the following thoughts from one drive-in owner:
I first examined the distributors of the movies shown on the 155 single screen drive-ins that exhibited double features. Only 31 (20%) of these venues exhibited movies distributed from the same studios.
For the 67 venues that had double features showing on two screens, 17 of these dealt with three distributors and 49 dealt with four distributors (i.e., one for each film scheduled).
This demonstrates that exhibitors at single screen venues tend to show shorter movies first when scheduling double features.
On the marquee: First-run double features. Star quality: Tailgating atmosphere, plenty of trucks parked backward, Fri--Sun May--Sep.