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Shout Factory TV streams cult-classic films, TV shows for free

The new free, ad-supported streaming service offers a cool collection of cult classics, including "The Twilight Zone," "Dennis the Menace," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Plan 9 from Outer Space."

Catch cult classics via Shout! Factory TV.

There's a new streaming-video service in town, and it's free.

Premiering Thursday, Shout Factory TV serves up a variety of TV shows and movies from the '50s and beyond. You can watch your favorite TV shows or movies on your computer, smartphone or tablet. Roku device owners can download the Shout Factory TV app to watch their favorites through their TVs. The company is also working on dedicated apps for iOS and Android users, according to USA Today.

The service touts more than 1,000 hours of TV shows and movies, which isn't a lot. And many of the TV series offer just one or two seasons instead of their full run. You'll certainly find more to keep you entertained on Netflix, Amazon or Hulu. In fact, most of the content is already available through Shout Factory TV's section on Hulu Plus.

But Shout Factory TV promises it will add 200 more hours of programming each month, The New York Times reported. And there are no subscriptions or monthly bills to worry about. For a free, ad-supported service, Shout Factory TV offers a stroll down memory lane for those of you who want to relive those TV shows and movies you loved, or at least watched, years ago.

Among the TV series you can catch are "The Abbott & Costello Show," "The Ernie Kovacs Show," "Hill Street Blues," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Twilight Zone," "The Time Tunnel" and "Laverne and Shirley." Movie buffs won't find too many Oscar winners on the service. The offerings include such films as "Plan 9 from Outer Space," "Cannibal Girls" and "Bride of the Monster." But scattered among these are several classic films, such as John Ford's "Stagecoach" starring John Wayne, The Marx Brothers' "A Night in Casablanca" and "Death of a Salesman" starring Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich.

You can browse all the TV shows and movies to see what's playing or search for specific titles. The service also offers original videos and behind-the-scenes features as well as live streaming events, such as Mystery Science Theater 3000 marathons and a remastered, high-definition version of "Pee-wee's Playhouse."

This is the first foray into the world of online streaming for Shout Factory, which has gained a name selling DVDs, Blu-rays and CDs.

"We have been exploring various ways to grow our digital business over the years and we felt that the time was right to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service," Shout Factory co-founder Garson Foos told USA Today. "As major services are being more particular with their content offerings, we feel that there is still an unmet need for the classic/cult/niche content that we are very knowledgeable about, and it's an opportunity we are well positioned to exploit."