The boundaries between arthouse and mainstream cinema are blurring. With the increasing developments of arthouse commercialization and digitalization, the position of arthouse has shifted from a niche product towards a more mainstream stance. This trend has been covered by prior studies, but little is known about how audiences perceive this development. This is also the case for prior research on arthouse digitalization. The fast-growing technological-age that we live in now, has resulted in interesting developments in the digitalization of arthouse. There has been a rise of arthouse video-on-demand services, of which some try to bring the social experience of the physical theatre to one’s home. These are new technical developments that might affect the sustainability of the arthouse theatre, but too little is known about this. Moreover, The Netherlands seems to be an interesting focus, since the number of arthouse theatre visits is growing more rapidly than its surrounding countries. Regarding The Netherlands, cross - over programming, Cineville and the notion of Dutch film festivals were the three central commercial aspects that were studied. Therefore, this research studies the perceptions of Dutch millennial arthouse fans on arthouse in The Netherlands, in times of increasing commercialization and digitalization of arthouse. By means of a qualitative approach, semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 Dutch arthouse fans. The interviews took place in an online face-to-face setting through either Skype of Facetime and were recorded in audio and visuals. The transcriptions of the interview served as the generated data of which themes were established from. The findings suggest that arthouse fans acknowledge the developments of arthouse commercialization and digitalization and approve the results from these developments. They understand that these developments are needed for increasing the production and consolidation of arthouse. However, they seem to dislike the idea that arthouse commercialization results in lower artistic values in arthouse. The digitalization of arthouse is perceived as complementary to the arthouse theatre, which means that it is not seen as a threat. At last, even though arthouse slowly starts to become the new mainstream, the fans believe that the arts will always be preserved by the return of a new small-scaled type of arthouse.

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Rian Koreman
Media & Creative Industries
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Tessa Yen Nguyen. (2020, June 30). Positioning Arthouse in The Netherlands: Audience Perspectives on the Dutch Arthouse Landscape in times of Increasing Arthouse Commercialization and Digitalization. Media & Creative Industries. Retrieved from