Yesterday, I realized I haven't been in a movie theater for eight weeks.
Eight weeks! That's two whole months! I used to go to the movies two, sometimes three times a week! Of course I knew on some level that it'd been that long (believe me, I'm well aware how much time has passed since the shit hit the fan), but looking at a calendar and figuring out precisely how many days had passed since I last stepped foot in a movie theater hit me in a very specific, very unpleasant way.
If you're reading this site, there's a good chance that you, too, are experiencing movie theater withdrawals. There's not much we can do about that immediately (not unless you wanna risk your life to see TROLLS WORLD TOUR at one of those tacky-ass theaters that reopened in San Antonio last weekend), but one thing we can do is to lend a hand to the movie theater chains we love, to ensure that they're still around once things start to return to some semblance of normalcy. We can buy gift cards. Maybe some merch. And now - if you're interested in keeping the Alamo Drafthouse alive, which I hope you are - you can rent or buy movies directly from a brand-new VOD platform called ALAMO ON DEMAND.
Take it away, press release:
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has partnered with ScreenPlus to launch their new VOD platform, Alamo On Demand, boasting a growing library of entertainment for rental or purchase that’s been carefully curated by the company’s programming team. This new service allows the cinema company, which operates 41 locations in the United States as well as the influential genre film festival Fantastic Fest, to champion innovative and exciting films far beyond its auditoriums.
Alamo On Demand is available now at ondemand.drafthouse.com, with apps for iOS and Android coming very soon.
“I’ll describe the scenario that sold me on the ScreenPlus platform,” said Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse founder and Executive Chairman. “Alamo Drafthouse has been promoting PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE to our guests for months. 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. This platform allows us to remind folks who watched the trailer in the cinema or saw our enthusiasm for the film online but didn’t manage to see it at the Alamo before it left theaters. 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.”
To create the Alamo On Demand platform, the company collaborated with longtime cinema management software partner, Vista Cinema. By integrating existing backend systems: film scheduling, weekly emails, online ticketing and the Alamo’s Victory loyalty program, The Vista platform can offer meaningful offers to guests of Alamo. In the future, rentals and purchases on Alamo On Demand will provide loyalty program credit, and, as an example, immediately after theatrical screenings, guests may receive a discount on the future purchase of the movie they just watched.
“Every title on the platform has a champion on the Alamo programming team,” says Sarah Pitre, Alamo Drafthouse’s Senior Director of Programming and Promotions. “Alamo On Demand is a curated library, with each film nominated and personally recommended by a programmer.”
Alamo Drafthouse’s programming team will curate their personal recommendations as new content is added. For example, Weird Wednesday programmer Laird Jimenez will highlight forgotten genre film classics, while Champagne Cinema and Afternoon Tea creator Sarah Pitre will curate her favorite films. Evrim Ersoy, programming director of Fantastic Fest, will use the platform to champion past festival favorites as well as exclusive and never-before-seen-online content from Fantastic Fest veteran filmmakers. And to get our guests excited for studio tentpole releases, we can augment our in-theater marketing with video rental packages of a director’s past films and creative influences on their upcoming movie.
“Many of us learned about movies thanks to the staff picks at our local video stores. That’s the spirit of what we’re trying to do with Alamo On Demand,” said Henri Mazza, Alamo Drafthouse 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.”
In the coming weeks, Alamo On Demand will welcome new partners such as Sony Pictures Classics, with Alamo Drafthouse favorites like CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, PAIN AND GLORY, and A FANTASTIC WOMAN.
In parallel, users can expect more deep curation of classic films. For example, later this year, Severin Films will be launching the definitive “Brucesploitation” documentary ENTER THE CLONES OF BRUCE, about the hundreds of Bruce Lee imitator films that flooded the market after his untimely death. Alamo On Demand will pair the doc with a deep collection of the referenced films available for rental either solo or as a binge package to watch over 21 days.
From tentpole studio releases to tiny rare gems, Alamo On Demand will feature a stunning array of films – something for everyone – but always with trusted curation.
Current and Upcoming Alamo On Demand Partners and Titles
- Lionsgate’s KNIVES OUT, JOHN WICK 3, LA LA LAND, A SIMPLE FAVOR, APOCALYPSE NOW: FINAL CUT, and DIRTY DANCING
- NEON’s Academy Award Best Picture Winner PARASITE and PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, as well as the documentary premiere of SPACESHIP EARTH.
- Sony Pictures Classics’ CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, PAIN AND GLORY, and A FANTASTIC WOMAN
- An exclusive premiere of the new documentary KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL, which will include a livestream Q&A and performance by Kate Nash.
- Magnolia Pictures’ RBG, SKATE KITCHEN and RAISE HELL: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MOLLY IVINS
- Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s music documentary JUNUN.
- Severin Films and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s modern masterpiece SANTA SANGRE.
- Well Go USA’s 2018 South Korean masterpiece BURNING, starring Steven Yeun and considered by many one of the best films of the 2010s.
- Drafthouse Films’ entire catalog, including Academy Award nominees THE ACT OF KILLING, THE LOOK OF SILENCE, and BULLHEAD, the acclaimed Riz Ahmed breakthrough film FOUR LIONS
- A “movie riffing” screening of the rediscovered cult classic ROAR from the acclaimed comedy collective Master Pancake Theater.
- Shout! Factory’s Ramones-starring classic ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL.
- A wealth of restored genre films from American Genre Film Archive like Ed Wood's TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE and NINJA ZOMBIE.
- Family programming like the New York International Children’s Film Festival's KID FLICKS ONE AND TWO, two programs of award-winning and audience favorite family shorts from the NYICFF 2019 festival and the 50th anniversary restoration of Harry Nilsson’s THE POINT.
Alamo On Demand is live now at ondemand.drafthouse.com
I just spent a few minutes clicking around on the ALAMO ON DEMAND website, and they've got a ton of great stuff over there (the Fantastic Fest Favorites page is particularly stacked, filled with titles that are pretty much guaranteed to appeal to the average BMD reader). Take a look at what they've got, and consider treating yourself to a movie tonight. It won't entirely cure your movie theater withdrawals, but it'll help support our favorite movie theater company, and you'll get to see something cool in the process.