Arthouse Cowboy‘s Moises Chiullan reported today that Warner Archive Instant is up and running and open for business to the U.S.-residing public. Hundreds of Warner Bros., MGM, RKO and Allied Artists features and TV shows for $9.99 a month, but for now you need a Roku Player to get HD-quality. (Web browser playback is standard definition only.) No way am I buying a Roku Player, but presumably WAI will be available down the road via Apple TV and other devices.
This could be part of the solution to the Shane aspect-ratio problem. Presumably Warner execs will eventually come out from behind their castle walls and agree to make the 1.37 version of George Stevens’ classic available via Warner Archives, but if they get their act together it could be made available concurrent with the release of the much-reviled 1.66 version on June 4th. But I’m not watching anything on an effing Roku Player — eff that.