Alamo Drafthouse offsets closures with an on-demand movie service

Alamo Drafthouse isn’t rebelling against streaming video while its theaters are closed during the pandemic — in fact, it’s welcoming the concept. The chain has launched a ScreenPlus-backed Alamo On Demand service that lets you rent or buy movies in keeping with the company’s quirky yet reverential approach to cinema. Drafthouse Films’ entire catalog is present, of course, alongside campier fare like Australian “Ozsploitation classics.” However, you’ll also find more than a few major titles, including the Oscar winner Parasite as well as Lionsgate like Knives Out (soon to come), John Wick 3 and Dirty Dancing.

The company is keeping up its habit of elaborate premieres, too. The Biosphere 2 documentary Spaceship Earth will debut on May 8th alongside a Q&A with some of the original Mars colony simulation dwellers. A Kate Nash documentary premiering on May 22nd will also include a Q&A with the punk rock and GLOW star Kate Nash.

How much you pay will depend on the title, and it won’t surprise you to hear that some of the indie fare will be more affordable than the big-budget productions. You won’t always pay dearly, though. Parasite is $4 to rent, for example, but only costs $10 to own.

This is still a work in progress. You currently have to watch through the web, with Android and iOS apps due “very, very soon.” And while Alamo would like to provide Victory points for purchases and rentals, there are still “some wires to untangle” before that’s ready. Even so, this could please fans who miss visiting the theaters and want to provide some financial support for Alamo while its main business isn’t running.

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