News: Kino Lorber Introduces 'Kino Marquee' to Assist Movie Theaters During Coronavirus Crisis

With all the movie theaters closed in the wake of the ever-developing COVID-19 outbreak, the film industry has faced some of the most arduous challenges in the history of the medium.  Just last week, Universal Studios announced it would be moving a number of its theatrical films to the home viewing digital streaming platforms, followed not long after by Disney’s announcement Onward would be going digital and Paramount’s announcement Sonic the Hedgehog would go digital almost two months ahead of the disc release.
The latest company to get on board with the industry push towards digital is Kino Lorber which is designed to not only help bring critically acclaimed upcoming films to home viewers unable to see them theatrically, but to help the flailing shuttered movie houses as well.  Named Kino Marquee, the proposition is to offer through the Kino Now app acclaimed art house and foreign language films set to play at shuttered movie houses with the proceeds from ticket sales going back into the shuttered movie theaters.  Effectively, Kino Marquee will provide home viewers with films while still benefitting the struggling theaters forced to close their doors.

Unlike typical video-on-demand platforms, ticket sales for the films will still be sold through the participating theaters but in exchange for a code which will take viewers into a virtual screening room.  Wendy Lidell, the Senior Vice President of Theatrical Distribution at Kino Lorber, remarked “We want to help ensure that these theaters will be able to reopen their doors after this crisis passes. The Kino Marquee program offers an opportunity for theaters to generate revenue while their doors are closed.”  Though still in the early stages of development, among the participating theaters for this program are:

  • Film at Lincoln Center (New York, NY)
  • BAM (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville, NY)
  • The Little Theatre (Rochester, NY)
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival Riviera Theatre (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • The Frida Cinema (Santa Ana, CA)
  • Denver Film / Sie FilmCenter (Denver, CO)
  • Belcourt Theater (Nashville, TN)
  • Loft Cinema (Tucson, AZ)
  • Austin Film Society (Austin, TX)
  • Aperture Cinema (Winston Salem, NC)

Stay tuned for further details as this story develops.

--Andrew Kotwicki