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06th May 2019

Movie Premieres Unlimited is the most perfect shot of 1990s movie nostalgia

Wil Jones

Noel Gallagher looks bleary eyed, like he is still feeling the effects of the night before, at the premiere of the Star Wars special editions

Jean Claude Van Damme wears a cap promoting his ice hockey-themed Die Hard rip-off Sudden Death at the opening of an unrelated movie. Homer and Bart Simpson turn out to see FernGully: The Last Rainforest.

Val Kilmer wears the same pineapple shirt to Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Muppets From Space. Drew Barrymore is given a shirt with her name on the back by Atletico Madrid players Alvaro Novo and Kiki Musampa.

Welcome to the world of Movie Premieres Unlimited, a pair of Twitter and Instagram accounts which lovingly document the red carpets of the decade (as well some from the late 1980s and early 2000s).

The concept of Movie Premieres Unlimited is simple: nothing but perfectly curated shots from vintage movie premieres. Jason Alexander and Matt LeBlanc rub shoulders with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sisqo, while flannel, round sunglasses, baggy shirts and so much denim are the go-to style choices. It is just such a joy to scroll through.

Since starting in March it has amassed 70,000 followers, and even just launched its own spin-off podcast. We caught up with Julio who runs the account, to talk movie merch, baby Kendall Jenner and a lost era of movie stars.

Is Movie Premieres Unlimited fuelled by nostalgia?

I’m 33. It’s nostalgic to some extent, because I grew up in the 90s but I don’t have the most vivid memory of all the fashion since I wasn’t an adult during that time. I’m just trying to piece the 90’s together and really get an idea what it was, beyond the headlines. It seems like life before social media was ages ago when it really hasn’t been that long.

Did you grow up enjoying watching red carpets?

I saw a couple on E!  growing up, it was just kind of a pipe dream of like “wouldn’t it be cool to be there” I remember a few of the recaps on Entertainment Tonight and my understanding was simply this is where the most powerful people in the world like to do: they like to see Batman Forever on opening night.

What gave you the idea for the account?

I had been posting them for a while on Facebook. A friend was finally like “make an account for all these” and it just took off from there. They would normally get a lot of likes on even my personal account, so it became clear I wasn’t the only one in on appreciating the absurdity of Andrew Dice Clay going to see The Klumps.

What makes the perfect selection of photos for a post?

It can’t just be four photos of celebrities dressed in dated loose fitting clothing, though that is a small part of it. It’s ideal when there’s some movie promotional t shirt, like Hank Azaria wearing a Godzilla shirt at the very premiere of it. Also there needs to be somebody not affiliated with the movie showing up, such as Jason Alexander at Shrek or Jean Claude Van Damme at Power Rangers.

So you have this element of surprise, shameless self promotion – and to top it off a couple that is no longer dating like a Courtney Cox and Michael Keaton at Batman Returns.

When those stars align you have the perfect premiere. You want to be left with questions, not answers.

What are your favourite premieres you’ve found so far?

I loved seeing Mario Lopez and Tiffany Thiessen at Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey because it was like a young Hollywood event, and they probably talked about it on the set of Saved By The Bell. Val Kilmer at Muppets From Space, dressed completely casual in sandals, was just tremendous.

The “What are they doing there” that gets the best results. Terminator 2 is another favourite, Nick Cage was just living his best life and I salute him for that.

What is the strangest collection of stars together in one place you have found?  

Aliens 3 had a real odd group of Michael Richards, JCVD, TV’s Bud Bundy, Mila Jovovich, Carl Weathers, and was just the best group of stars.

Mulan had Sinbad, baby Kendall Jenner, 98 degrees, and Topanga from Boy Meets World so that was a puzzling group that will never be in the same room again for as long as humanity exists.

What are the best outfits and fashion choices you have come across?

Andrew Dice Clay wore a puffed up Gold’s Gym jacket at Batman Returns which was a real bold move. Scott Caan wore a sweater vest to the premiere of The Fast & The Furious. Rosie O’Donnell was in hypebeast mode wearing the freshest gear to Honeymoon In Vegas. Jason Alexander is just the king, always dressed in some kind of khakis that match with his button up and hat, with a purple fanny pack and the look of satisfaction that one only gets with watching a movie for free.

It feels like movie stars are much less important these days, and franchises and IPs mean more – would you agree?

I’d agree completely, star power means less and less. It used to be, at least for me, “Oh there’s a new Nicholas Cage movie I have to see this because it’s Nicholas Cage.” There also used to be a stigma about a movie star doing television and now you have Chris Pine on a TNT Mini Series. We were very protective of what it meant to be a star.

The rules aren’t as defined as they used to be, I feel like it’s lead to less creative risks on the big screen. There’s a lot of good films out there, but in terms of a big budget movie relying on star power it is becoming a rarity.

Similarly, do you think Twitter and Insta have made movie stars seem less special?

Everybody with 20k followers is now a star to some regard, the rules are less defined. Before it was you worked your way up from TV to the movies like George Clooney. It seemed like there was a stratification system and a defined ranking. It’s not necessarily a good or bad thing that it’s changed.

Social media for many movie stars is just promoting movies and a few cold takes. Some are more vocal than others, but they already share a large portion of their lives with the public. In some cases seeing the everyday habits of celebrities humanizes them, but at the same time, some of the allure is gone with that.

Follow Movie Premieres Unlimited on Twitter and Instagram, and the first episode of the podcast is out now.

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