36 Cinema and RZA Launch “Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater” press image for use by 360 Magazine

Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater Relaunch

RZA Launches “Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater”, First-of-its-kind Film Screening Platform from 36 Cinema

Heroes Of The East, 1978 Kung Fu Classic–Streaming Saturday, April 24th with live-commentary from RZA and Dan Halsted

RZA also unveils “Pugilism”, first single from forthcoming solo album

Listen HERE

Last year at the onset of the pandemic, RZA, searching for a creative output and sense of community in the wake of a global shutdown, launched 36 Cinema: a first-of-its-kind film screening platform through his company 36 Chambers. The platform hosted weekly screenings of classic kung fu films (like Shaolin Vs. Wu Tang and Mystery of Chessboxing) and other seminal films (like blaxploitation classic Petey Wheatstraw), with live commentary from RZA and various guests, ranging from directors, actors and critics alike. The platform was met with great enthusiasm from kung fu enthusiasts and cinephiles generally, amassing a steady following and selling over 20k tickets and raising money for independent theaters around the country.

RZA has today announced the official relaunch of 36 Cinema, which will return in force this summer with a brand new slate of programming that he’s dubbed “Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater”. The series kicks off this Saturday (April 24th) at 9pm ET with a screening of the Shaw Brothers classic Heroes Of The East.

RZA will be joined by Dan Halsted, head programmer at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland (and 35mm film archivist), who is also a major kung fu cinema buff in his own right. RZA and Dan hosted several 36 Cinema screenings last year, bringing a wide breadth of knowledge of Asian cinema and providing valuable insights into some of the classic kung fu staple films.

36 Cinema relaunches at a time when martial arts storytelling is having a major revival in popular culture. Just this month, the CW have rolled out the first episodes of Kung Fu, a remake of the cult classic 1970s TV show. From the commercial success of film franchises like The Raid and Kill Bill (which RZA scored incidentally), it’s clear there’s been a renewed interest in kung fu cinema from a western audience since the genre’s glory days. 36 Cinema aims to educate and enlighten a new generation of film lovers, while also catering to an audience of plugged-in kung fu fanatics.

Previous hosts of 36 Cinema screenings include director Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog, Coffee and Cigarettes), actor Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite, Tyson, Why Did I Get Married), actor and martial artist Scott Adkins (The Bourne Ultimatum, Zero Dark Thirty etc.), film archivist Warrington Hudlin, comedian Donell Rawlings, stunt actress Shaina West, among others. The platform also partnered with key cultural institutions such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art in DC and the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.

RZA looks forward to bringing on some other notable names to co-host upcoming screenings of Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater throughout the summer. The full run of programming will be revealed in the coming weeks, which will include other seminal films outside of the kung fu genre specifically.

In tandem with the reveal of Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater, RZA has also released a brand new single – Pugilism – his first solo release under the alias Bobby Digital in 13 years (since his 2008 LP Digi Snacks). Pugilism is the first cut from RZA’s fourth album–Bobby Digital: Digital Potions– a follow up to his beloved 1998 debut solo album Bobby Digital In Stereo. RZA will share further details about the album in Saturday’s screening of Heroes Of The East.

Purchase tickets for the Heroes Of The East screening on 36 Cinema HERE

Distribution Partners
36 Cinema has licensing deals in place from the following distributors: Janus Films, AGFA, Magnolia Pictures, Well Go USA, Shaw Brothers Studio and Celestial Pictures.

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