Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Anyone With An L.A. Public Library Card Can Stream The Criterion Collection

Our June member drive is live: protect this resource!
Right now, we need your help during our short June member drive to keep the local news you read here every day going. This has been a challenging year, but with your help, we can get one step closer to closing our budget gap. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership.

(See above for some of our picks from the available collection.)

A Los Angeles Public Library card comes with plenty of perks, but did you know that it also provides access to hundreds of movies from the Criterion Collection?

Criterion has dedicated itself to gathering and publishing the greatest films from around the world since 1984, and its collection is the ultimate cinephile playground. Your LAPL card will give you access to stream 419 (!) different films from Criterion's unparalleled collection, including the work of masters of cinema like Akira Kurosawa, Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Eisenstein and many others.

Pull up a chair and stream French New Wave gems like Breathless, The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, and Vivre Sa Vie, none of which are available for streaming on Netflix. Or delve into the classics of American independent film, and acquaint yourself with the work of Jim Jarmusch and John Cassavetes (also not available for streaming on Netflix). The possibilities are near infinite, or at least approximately 50,280* minutes long.

The movies are made available to LAPL users through a service called Kanopy, and you can watch up to 10 films per month. Once you set up a free account on Kanopy using your library card, you can stream movies through your computer, or on your phone/iPad using the Kanopy app. Kanopy is also compatible with Apple TV and Roku. Anyone with a library card can set up a Kanopy here.

The incredibleness of the collection is perhaps best summed up by a tweet by New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis, who responded to our query for favorites:


*Four hundred and nineteen titles, multiplied by the average length of a movie (approximately 120 minutes).

Most Read