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In January of 2005, a time when everyone else was moving away from paper publishing, Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall started Cinema Retro, a magazine celebrating films of the 1960s and 1970s. "People said, 'You'll never get out the second issue'," says Pfeiffer. Eleven issues later, the magazine is still going strong -- and so is the website they created to promote it, cinemaretro.com.
"By May 2007, we realized we had to have a more dynamic website to compliment the magazine," says Pfeiffer. "Additionally, we needed a way to cover time sensitive issues that would be outdated in the magazine, which is published three times a year." So, they turned what Pfeiffer describes as "a stagnant site that solicited subscriptions for the magazine" into a full-fledged movie news site with its own, exclusive content.
Why focus on films from the 60's and 70's? "We truly believe that it was the greatest era in movie making history, when envelopes were being pushed," explains Pfeiffer. "Hollywood began to nurture offbeat films like Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy." Plus, he says, "You had the old guard like Hawks, Ford and Hitchcock working at the same time a generation of young Turks like Coppola, Spielberg, Scorsese and Lucas were emerging."
He and Worrall know what they're talking about. The pair has written numerous books about retro films; with a special concentration on the James Bond franchise. "With Casino Royale, they brought Bond back into the real world. I thought it was superb on every level -- particularly Daniel Craig's performance," he says about the series today. "In an era in which macho leading men are a vanishing species, he's the real deal, like a young McQueen or Bronson." Beyond Bond, they recently wrote about the making of John Wayne's directorial debut, The Alamo, and adds Pfieffer, they've "completed the most definitive book ever done about Clint Eastwood's westerns."
Their depth of knowledge is what draws readers to the site and magazine. It's also appreciated by those they're writing about. "I got a phone call from James Caan's office saying he read an article by one of our writers about him on the website and he thinks it was the best thing ever written about him," says Pfeiffer. "He invited our writer to come over from London and spend an entire day with him to discuss a lot of the movies no one's ever asked him about, cause they always ask him about The Godfather."
In the end, Pfeiffer admits the website is still meant to attract subscribers for the magazine. "We're always trying to convince people to take the plunge." But he admits, "Trying to get people to actually take a chance on a magazine is not an easy thing to do in the Internet age."