Cinemas offer more than big screens and concession stands. In the pre-COVID-19 era, they were places for moviegoers to discover films they may have never noticed in the infinite libraries of their streaming subscriptions. Now, with its physical locations closed temporarily, Alamo Drafthouse is bringing that service online.
As Deadline reports, Alamo On Demand, a new VOD platform the movie theater chain developed in collaboration with Vista Cinema and ScreenPlus, launched on Thursday, May 7. Alamo Drafthouse is known for its special programming, and when it's not screening new releases, the chain spotlights obscure genre films with regular events like Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday. That's the vibe Alamo hopes to replicate by making digital copies of staff picks available to rent or purchase in one place. According to the website: "Every film on the platform is curated. If a movie is here, an Alamo programmer loves it!"
The collection features many new releases, like 2019's Parasite and Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Viewers will also have their choice of classics through the decades, including several cult favorites that are hard to find elsewhere. You can browse movies by genre, or by a specific Alamo programmer who recommends them. The catalog definitely isn't as robust as those of bigger-name streaming services, but to anyone experiencing decision fatigue, that may be a good thing. Plus, your patronage supports movie theaters in a time when they're unable to bring in revenue the traditional way.
Alamo Drafthouse is one name in the cinema industry that's adapting to the current times. Some smaller businesses are also finding creative ways to survive: When it was forced to close, a movie theater in Fairfax, Virginia, started selling popcorn curbside.