With many films, the only chance we'd ever get to see them, were it not for home media, would be on a 35mm print in a re-run cinema. If they go back and scan even unrestored earlier elements, we should be able to get something at least a little better than that.
You make a very good point; one that's frequently overlooked. Oldtimers like me who predate home theater and even VHS, used to catch up on old movies in re-run houses. The prints we saw were often appalling, but although we noticed the faults we accepted them because we really wanted to see these old films. There was no other way. And that's why I am far more tolerant of the less than perfect Olive Film presentations than some other regular posters. I'm used to scratches, dirt, faded color, poor contrast etc. That used to be my staple diet!