Kodi is a fantastic media streaming program, but it’s gained an unfortunate reputation over the years as a piece of piracy software thanks to the way third-party developers have been producing add-ons that enable access to thousands of premium channels without paying a penny.
For its part, Kodi has been fighting back by going after those who sell hardware with pirate Kodi add-ons pre-installed, but the bad reputation is proving hard to shake.
This difficulty exists in part because of Kodi’s status as open-source software. It’s great for getting lots of people to contribute to your software, but more problematic when they’re using this access to create software that’s illegal.
In this article, we’re going to focus specifically on free classic movies. You know, good movies from a time when acting and character development trumped CGI and special effects.
Which third-party add-ons should you install if you want to watch spaghetti westerns or old-time horror flicks? Read on to find out…
The Classic Cinema Kodi addon is the tool to use if your are looking for the earlier classic movies. It is an addon that aggregates old movies found on Google Video and Archive.org. Classic Cinema is packed with films from around the 50s and the choice is huge. It is also the place to go for silent films and movies from different niches. The addon is not just for movies and if TV shows are your thing you can find many TV series sets from the same era. The Classic Cinema Kodi addon is available from the official Kodi addons repository.
Well-known films on offer include Moby Dick (1956), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), and Captain Scarlett (1953).
Best of all, you can find the add-on in the official Kodi repo, meaning you can be confident that all of the content is entirely legal.
FilmRise offers some TV shows, but the add-on specializes in movies. The app is entirely free to download and use; you don’t even need to create an account.
At the time of writing, you can find more than 7,500 classic movies across categories such as Crime, Horror, Kids, British Drama, and Comedy.
None of the films and shows on offer are “premium.” In fact, unless you a movie addict, you might struggle to find anything you have actually ever heard of.
FilmRise holds distribution licenses for all the content it offers, thus making the add-on entirely legal. It is available in the official repo.
If you are a fan of classic radio or video, you’ll want to check out the Internet Archive addon. The content is scraped from the popular archive.org website. Both versions feature all sorts of material from radio and TV. It is definitely worth adding to your essential install list. Use our guide so you can check it out today.
The site aslo covers everything from eBooks to software. It also has a section dedicated to videos. And this is where you’ll find more than three million TV shows and movies.
All the content on the site is public domain, so you won’t fall foul of any copyright laws while you’re enjoying the footage.
The free classic movies are subdivided into many categories, including Film Noir, Silent Movies, and Sci-Fi. You can even find 35mm stock footage and old sports clips.
Once again, the add-on is available via the official repo.
Netzkino is another app that’s available from the official Kodi repo.
Netzkino is ad-supported. If you want to remove the adverts from the videos you’re watching, you’ll need to subscribe to Netzkino Plus for $4.99/month.
The add-on offers both classic movies and B-side modern movies.
Unlike the similarly-named PopcornTime, Popcornflix is entirely legal. It offers the ad-supported streaming of free classic movies and TV shows, as well as a smattering of newer content.
The site is owned by Screen Media Ventures. You’re probably not aware, but Screen Media Ventures is the largest independent distributor of movies to the worldwide television market.
Famous classic movies on the app include Jackie Chan’s City Hunter, John Ford’s Stagecoach, and horror staple Frankenstein.
The Popcornflix app is also available for Android, iOS, Roku, Xbox, and Apple TV.
If you know where to look, Reddit is a treasure trove of free classic movies.
If you haven’t already done so you should go and subscribe to /r/classicfilms. All the movies on the subreddit are in the public domain or have licenses that allow them to be shown on the host site.
This Reddit add-on lets you watch videos from Reddit in Kodi. You can add as many subreddits as you want. Once you have added a subreddit, the add-on will display any video content from it in a constantly-updating feed.
The add-on also offers a reasonable degree of customization. For example, you can automatically autoplay videos you’ve not finished watching when the app opens.
Snagfilms is a legal video-on-demand streaming service that offers offers advertising-supported documentary and independent films. The channel’s library contains over 5,000 films. Filmmakers can submit documentaries for consideration as well. You can find a Kodi plugin for Snagfilms in the official Kodi add-on repository.
And you don’t need to worry about the add-on’s legality. It has partnerships in place with several leading broadcasters, including Comcast, Hulu, IMDb, and Verizon.
Based out of Washington DC, the ad-supported add-on also provides some modern movies. At the time of writing, 2004’s Super Size Me and 2008’s Kicking It are both available. Kicking It, which tells the story of the 2006 Homeless World Cup, won awards at both the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals.
Legally Watch Free Classic Movies on Kodi
We all know that Kodi can be used to find just about any TV show or movie you want, but only if you’re prepared to break the law. However, if you want to stay in the authorities’ good books while still enjoying video content—and we really think you should—the quest becomes a bit more challenging.
We hope the seven add-ons we have introduced you to in this article will help make your quest more manageable.