In the wake of movie theaters closed due to the coronavirus, Alamo Drafthouse is launching its own streaming platform.
The theater chain, which has long championed independent film, partnered with ScreenPlus and Vista Cinema for Alamo On Demand, a service that allows viewers to rent or purchase from an expanding library curated by the team that programs Alamo's 41 theaters across the country.
"We love people to see films in the cinema first and foremost, but the reality is not everyone can always make the time for every movie they want to see," Alamo founder Tim League said in a statement. "This platform allows us to give folks who missed (movies like) 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire' in cinemas another chance to see it, which is simply an extension of our enthusiasm and support for the film.
"Alamo On Demand helps us to continue the conversation past the theatrical window and recommend movies we love to our community. And in these shuttered days and beyond, these rentals and purchases help support your neighborhood theater.”
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The spirit of Alamo On Demand is akin to "staff picks" from local video stores of old, said Henri Mazza, Alamo's vice president of content, sponsorship and events. “Even though we can’t gather in theaters right now, our programmers will still be curating new and classic films for our nationwide community of fellow movie lovers, and hosting conversations online as well.”
Alamo is partnering with studios such as Lionsgate, Neon, Sony Pictures Classics and others to fill out their movie lineup. Initial offerings include recent films such as Oscar best-picture winner "Parasite," "Knives Out," "Call Me By Your Name," 'La La Land" and "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum"; documentaries "RBG," "Spaceship Earth" and "Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl"; older classics "Apocalypse Now," "Dirty Dancing" and "Rock and Roll High School"; and a bunch of sci-fi and horror flicks and oddities like Ed Wood's "Take It Out in Trade" and "Ninja Zombie" that are Alamo's bread and butter.
The new service is available now at ondemand.drafthouse.com, with iOS and Android apps coming soon.