The Laemmle Theatre chain — based in Southern California — has initiated a new “Virtual Cinema” program with indie film distributors to help keep movie-watching alibe in this time of the virus. Check out the letter below:
Dear Laemmle Fans,
As an exhibitor, I’m supposed to hate VOD (video on demand), seeing it as an enemy out to destroy my family’s 80+ year old business. However, I believe that people will always love going to the movie theatre, and that they recognize movie-going as the best way to appreciate what the filmmaker has created.
But right now, going to the movie theatre isn’t an option. We all know why this is the case, and we’re just going to have to accept it until we can get through this crisis.
These unprecedented times call for new alliances. So in partnership with a number of our indie distributors, we are launching the “Laemmle Virtual Cinema” program.
While the theatres are closed, we’ll be emailing to let you know about new films which you can watch on VOD. The distributors will be sharing revenue directly with us, so that we have the resources to get through this mandatory closure, and can reopen our actual doors as soon as the coast is clear.
So please go ahead and pay to watch a movie online. You’re not cheating on us. You’ll actually be helping us. And together, we can keep the fires of arthouse cinema burning until this storm has passed.
The first batch of titles include:
When so many are struggling for connection, inspiration and hope, Fantastic Fungi brings us together as interconnected creators of our world.
Fantastic Fungi, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is a consciousness-shifting film that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet. Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others, we become aware of the beauty, intelligence and solutions the fungi kingdom offer us in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges.
A comedy of mid-life reinvention and the redeeming power of friendship.
Defying mid-life haze, two friends seize an unlikely opportunity to reinvent their lives, quitting their jobs to restore an old bowling alley and serve the “world’s greatest pizza.”
Phoenix, Oregon stars James Le Gros (Drugstore Cowboy, Living in Oblivion), Lisa Edelstein (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, House), Jesse Borrego (Fame, Blood In, Blood Out), Reynaldo Gallegos (Triple Frontier, American Sniper), Diedrich Bader (Napoleon Dynamite, Office Space, Veep), and Kevin Corrigan (The Departed, Pineapple Express, True Romance).
The film takes a comedic look at the existential crisis many face when trying to find meaning and relevancy at mid-life. Despite controlling bosses, dead-end jobs, and broken relationships, the two leads must awaken hibernating courage and resilience in order to take new risks and keep dreams alive.