Mubi Podcast Season 2 Unpacks How Famed Theaters Turned Films Like ‘El Topo,’ ‘Harold & Maude’ Into Classics

Exclusive: Host Rico Gagliano returns to dissect the impact of individual cinemas on historic film releases in the second season titled "Only in Theaters."
HAROLD AND MAUDE, Bud Cort, Ruth Gordon, 1971
"Harold and Maude"
Courtesy Everett Collection

Distributor and streaming platform Mubi’s award-winning audio-documentary series “Mubi Podcast” kicks off Season 2 today.

IndieWire can exclusively announce that the “Mubi Podcast,” hosted by Wall Street Journal journalist Rico Gagliano, returns today, Thursday, June 30 with its first episode of the second season, “Only in Theaters.” The podcast will focus on the surprising stories of individual cinemas that had a huge impact on film history, ranging from the Cinémathèque Française to the Westgate in Minneapolis.

Guests for Season 2 include filmmakers Mary Harron (“American Psycho”), Barbet Schroeder (“Barfly,” “Reversal of Fortune”), Peter Strickland (“The Duke of Burgundy”), Nick Broomfield (“Kurt & Courtney”), and Alejandro Jodorowsky (“El Topo,” “Jodorowsky’s Dune”). Film writers J. Hoberman, Amy Nicholson, Louis Menand, Danny Leigh and more also add insights and commentary. Episodes are released every Thursday.

The first episode, available now on all major podcast platforms and via Mubi’s Notebook, centers on the Cinémathèque Française and the public uproar for the brief firing of the Paris-based theater’s founder in 1968. The series continues next with New York’s The Elgin, which is credited for birthing the Midnite Movie phenomenon with its late-night screenings of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “El Topo.”

The Westgate in Minneapolis hosted a record-breaking two-year run of “Harold and Maude” that helped turn that film from a total flop into one of the most beloved movies of the 20th century. To coincide with the July 14 “Mubi Podcast” episode premiere, a special screening of “Harold and Maude” will be presented on July 16 in Los Angeles at the American Cinematheque’s Los Feliz 3, with host Rico Gagliano in-person.

The July 21 episode includes the infamous rise and fall of London’s Scala Cinema Club, followed by Rochester’s Dryden Theater, home to the unique Nitrate Picture Show, which spotlights the irreplaceable experience of seeing rare, highly-flammable nitrate prints projected. A special surprise bonus episode will air on August 4 prior to the final episode of the season.

The sixth and final “Mubi Podcast” Season 2 installment is about The Majestic in Tanzania. Airing August 11, the episode tells the cautionary tale of the last purpose-built theater left on the island of Zanzibar.

Season 1 of the “Mubi Podcast” was titled “Lost in Translation” and focused on films that are beloved in their respective home countries but did not reach international reverence. Guests included directors Paul Verhoeven and Bruno Barreto, with Season 1 being nominated for a Webby Award.

As theaters still struggle amid the pandemic, Mubi continues to be committed to celebrating them and lifting them up. MUBI GO, which provides members with one free hand-picked movie ticket every week, launched in the UK in 2018 and in the US in 2021.

Mubi Podcast
Artwork for this season of the “Mubi Podcast”Nathan Gelgud
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