TCM knows its viewers don’t just watch classic movies, but classic movies are part of their lifestyle. So as the network begins its two-month Summer of Darkness tribute to film noir, it is also opening an online store called Darkness stocked with items from the period that would fit perfectly in the smoky offices of a private detective. There are Zippo lighters, Persol sunglasses, silver cocktail shakers and even a 1941 Lincoln Continental restored to mint condition.
TCM General Manager Jennifer Dorian says the first item on the network’s list was a great fedora. “At TCM we like things to have authenticity, so we found in L.A. a company that’s been doing premium haberdashery since the 1930s and ’40s,” Dorian says. “So we’ll be offering Bailey Blixen fedoras,” one at $150 and one at $85. “These are really high-quality hats.”
The shopping site is one of TCM’s attempts to engage with its fans, who often show up in costume at its festivals. “It’s partly marketing and partly to see if it’s a revenue-driver,” Dorian says.
The Darkness site will be promoted on-air and through social media, which is surprisingly popular among fans of black-and-white films. “#TCMParty is a really active community. They’re great fans,” Dorian says.
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