By now, all of the major studios have made it easy to see their big spring theatrical releases without leaving home, but not every movie fan wants to spend their quarantine watching, say, Sonic The Hedgehog without going to a theater. Plus, while paying to rent a newer movie like The Hunt or Birds Of Prey will help the studios that made those movies, it won’t do much to help the place where you would otherwise go to see those movies if we weren’t all locked up in our homes. So, for anyone who wants to see some films with fewer super-fast animals and wants to support their local independent theater, Magnolia Pictures has a launched a program called “Virtual Cinema” where you can rent select new releases and split the money you pay with a theater of your choice—provided the theater is on Magnolia’s extensive, nation-spanning list.
For example, you can support Chicago’s Music Box Theatre by renting Corneliu Porumboiu’s The Whistlers, a Romanion neo-noir that we covered on Film Club back in February. If you’d rather support some other theater, Magnolia is also offering The Band documentary Once Were Brothers through various other theaters. Plus, if this all still isn’t a good enough deal for you, the proceeds from any rentals made from now through April 2 will be entirely given to the theater of your choice. On April 3, it will change to an even split. The current list of available movies and theaters can be found at this link.