Differences between Mainstream Cinema and Art House Cinema


In Mainstream Cinema, Narratives otherwise known as ‘Storylines’ are far more frequently used than they are in Art House Cinema. This is because the majority of society find films which consist of a narrative, more easier to understand than films that do not have a narrative.


Art House films vary significantly from approximately a minute to over an hour. Whereas in Mainstream Cinema, their films range from an hour and 45 minutes to 3 hours. 

Celebrity Appearances

Often in Art House films there are no celebrities, or stars. However in Mainstream Cinema, the actors who take the lead roles are commonly celebrities and are very well known. Therefore more people will choose to watch films in Mainstream Cinema because they recognise the actors that are casted in it.

Commercial Enterprise

In Mainstream Cinema, films are normally made to make a profit for the Film Company such as Warner Brothers for example. Whereas Art House films are usually made for aesthetic value,  the appreciation of beauty and nature. 

Big Budget

People invest money into Mainstream Cinema, in the hope that they get a big return. It’s basically the same as gambling and betting on a horse at the tracks.  Experimental Art House films usually have a low budget, and will normally not get a significant return. 


Mainstream Cinema films are nowadays shown in a variety of multiplex cinemas out in the suburbs, not in the city as there are no longer any cinemas there. Art House films are not shown at multiplex cinemas, but are instead shown at a handful of small cinemas in places like Northbridge and Fremantle and are only accessible on rare occasions, unlike multiplex cinemas.

The Run

Mainstream Cinema films are shown based on the estimated profit/loss of each film, varying from a few nights to a month. Art House films however are shown for a limited time, and the few films that are highly praised by the public may be shown on a seasonal or annual basis, such as every 6-12 months. 






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