The balcony has been opened.
Starting tomorrow, over 20 years worth of televised film reviews from the iconic pair of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert will be available online for free.
Over 5,000 reviews, purportedly the largest collection of video reviews on the web, will be available at http://www.atthemoviestv.com/ for viewing in a database that is searchable by film title, director or actor.
“For years, this was a dream,” Ebert said in a statement. “Now I am exhilarated that it is a reality, thanks to the enormous effort of digitizing something like 1,000 programs.”
Writing for competing Chicago newspapers – Siskel for the Tribune and Ebert for the Sun Times – the duo often brought that rivalry to their discussions on film, first on their PBS series and then in syndication. It was their weekly, lively back-and-forth and their ultimate Roman Coliseum-style “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” judgment on a movie that earned them a prominent spot on the entertainment news landscape. Ultimately, the pair became famous enough that appearances on Late Night With David Letterman and even a guest spot hosting Saturday Night Live followed.
Following Siskel’s death in 1999, Ebert was joined by Sun Times columnist Richard Roeper, who himself has co-hosted the show with a variety of rotating guest critics over the past year while Ebert has been recovering from a series of surgeries.
Ebert will also being conducting a live online chat at the site tomorrow at 7 pm CST.