Virtual cinema offers isolation entertainment

U.S. & World

(KGW)   In a world where COVID-19 is dividing loved ones and separating business from customers, movie theaters are looking at creative ways to stay afloat.

“You walk outside and there’s nobody there,” says Richard Beer, Programming Director for the Kiggins Theatre in Vancouver, Washington. “It feels like you’re in a zombie movie.”

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Like all other theaters in Oregon and Washington, the Kiggins Theatre is closed indefinitely.

It’s also a time for improvisation. Last week, The Kiggins Theatre launched its virtual cinema. Customers can visit the theater’s Virtual Screening Room and choose one of several independent movies to rent. To pull it off, Kiggins teamed up with a company called Film Movement. 

For $12, the streaming service lets customers watch available movies from their TV or mobile devices. Kiggins gets to keep about half the rental cost and the films get an audience.

“We can both help each other in these dark times,” Beer said.

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