Athena Cinema Provides Virtual Access to Newly Released Films

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Starting Friday, March 27, the Athena Cinema will be providing virtual access to newly released art house cinema films that viewers can purchase online access to at

“In a pretty recent development, art houses around the country have started offering this service to customers and sharing results, which have been pretty positive,” Connor Baker, Administrative Services Associate at the Athena, wrote to WOUB in an email. “How it works is that distributors have made a few of their films that were entering theatrical runs available online to customers exclusively through partnerships with individual theaters. Normally, the revenue from a movie ticket is split between the distributor and ourselves during its run at the theater; this works pretty similarly. The movies we are making available will not be streaming elsewhere, so for all intents and purposes, these are still theatrical runs.”

Viewers can pay to purchase an exclusive stream of the film that will work on any internet connected device (the films currently available are $8-$12 per stream and the cost per stream will vary by film), including Apple TV and Chromecast. After entering payment information, the stream will be made available to the viewer for various periods of time depending on the film. Currently, the Athena is offering streams of Saint Frances, Bacurau, and Corpus Christi.

“We were prepared to open Corpus Christi, a nominee for Best International Film at this year’s Academy Awards, on March 27 before the closure. Fortunately, we still can and audiences can still see it even though our doors are closed,” wrote Baker. “It doesn’t necessarily replicate the theatrical experience, but temporarily adapting to streaming has provided theaters revenue and income for staff, which everyone needs at this time. It also means we can continue to provide our regulars exciting and fresh films.”