In just a few weeks, mass forced isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically upended our entertainment options. Streaming services, for instance, have seen a boom. Various film festivals have moved online. With movie theaters across the country closed, various efforts have been put in to help such establishments and their employees. The independent repertory theater Light Industry has organized a successful GoFundMe for workers at shuttered cinemas, for example. And recently, distribution company Kino Lorber began using its streaming service, Kino Now, as a platform for various theaters as part of a new program called Kino Marquee.
The initiative has partnered with over 150 theaters around the country. Its first major title is the gonzo Brazilian sci-fi western Bacurau. By choosing to stream the film via one of the partner theaters, a portion of the proceeds from your “ticket” will go to that theater, allowing people to support their local establishments from home. It’s a middle ground between using subscription services and putting recent releases that were meant to come out in theaters instead straight to VOD with higher price tags. Currently, Ken Loach’s festival favorite Sorry We Missed You is also available through the program, in partnership with Film Forum and other theaters. Kino Lorber is hoping to include more releases in the series, for however long this crisis lasts.