The March issue, on sale Thursday 21 January, features 37 pages of exclusive contributions from 40 different filmmakers and actors, including Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Patty Jenkins, Spike Lee, Greta Gerwig, Sam Mendes, Mark Hamill, Daniel Craig, Daisy Ridley, Ang Lee and Anya Taylor-Joy, all sharing their memories of the cinema moments that have made them laugh, cry, cheer and everything in-between. Alongside them, the issue also features contributions from Empire readers.
The essays and interviews discuss films from every genre including: Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi, Jaws, Alien, Lawrence Of Arabia, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Get Out, Billy Elliot, Back To The Future, Titanic, Jurassic Park and Fatal Attraction.
Since the first lockdown in 2020, Empire has supported cinemas both big and small, launching the Celebrate Our Cinemas campaign in March (which included ways to support them across the country) and a new column in the magazine in November, Local Hero, which spotlights a different independent cinema every issue.
Commenting on this special issue, Empire’s Editor-In-Chief, Terri White, said: “It all began in November when Edgar tweeted asking people to share their most memorable ‘bring the house down’ cinema scenes. It took on a life of its own as film fans, actors and filmmakers alike shared their own amazing movie moments experienced in packed picturehouses. Edgar approached us about collaborating on a feature for Empire. But that just didn’t seem good enough. So, we cleared the cover, amassed a ton of pages and Edgar got to work contacting the great and good of Hollywood, inviting them to contribute (alongside our readers). After the call went out, the response was staggering, Edgar’s phone ringing and inbox filling up. Cinema screens were dark for much of 2020 and remain dark still, but that doesn’t mean our love of going to the movies has left us. We miss it desperately, as do film fans everywhere, whether you’re an Oscar-winning director or a reader of Empire. This issue is our love letter to the pictures. We can’t wait to be back in there again and until then, we’ve got this issue to remind us it’s the most magical place on Earth.”
Says Wright, “These dark days with cinemas temporarily shuttered have left a movie addict like myself longing to be a part of an audience again, rather than just sitting on my couch. The last year has been a stark reminder that the roar of the crowd is something that cannot be replicated, no matter how fancy your home set-up may be. So, it’s been an utter thrill to collaborate with Empire on a very special issue celebrating the joys of cinemagoing. Inspired by the incredible reaction to a social-media post I made asking for cherished memories of crowd reactions at the movies, I’ve gathered personal stories of experiences you can only have at the cinema, not only from 40 friends and filmmakers — from Steven Spielberg and Spike Lee to Greta Gerwig and Daniel Craig — but from EMPIRE readers too. The results are a moving, hilarious, epic tribute to the power of the big screen, and what we all have to look forward to.”
Empire’s newsstand cover — featuring many of the contributors to the issue — has been designed by the illustrator Bill McConkey, who was recently appointed an EMPIRE Contributing Editor. Subscribers can look forward to receiving a special cover designed by Corey Brickley, a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has created work for The New Yorker and The New York Times.