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Austin Film Society launches virtual cinema, promises return of physical cinema
(Andreas Glöckner/Pixabay)

The Austin Film Society launched a new at-home streaming service, AFS@home.


AFS@home members will receive discounted tickets for new films streaming on the platform as well as the ability to rent independent films not available elsewhere for around $10 to $12 apiece.

Current titles include the documentaries "This is Not a Movie: Robert Fisk" and "The Politics of Truth" and "Saul & Runy's Holocaust Survivor Band," adaptations of the Jack London novel "Martin Eden" and Richard Wright novel "Native Son," and the 2006 Chinese film "Still Life."

As with in-person screenings, AFS staff will provide virtual introductions to many of the films available through AFS@home.

Proceeds from the new service will support the reopening of AFS' physical cinema, at the Linc development near I-35 and Airport Boulevard.

"The AFS Cinema will return! It's not a matter of 'if,' but when," according to a press release issued on Friday. "But we know that it isn't time yet, and we will not reopen until Austin is ready to return to the movies."

AFS was founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, of the films "Boyhood" and "Before Sunrise."

The local cinema is one of 11 arthouses across the country involved in the @homeArts program, which was developed by the Salt Lake City Film Society to help cinemas adapt during the pandemic.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced earlier this month that movie theaters and other businesses limited to 50% capacity could expand to 75% capacity.

But many cinemas remain closed, such as AFS, or otherwise impacted by the pandemic.

Regal Cinemas, which reopened in August, recently announced that it would suspend operations at all of its U.S. locations, including four in Austin.

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Alamo Drafthouse caught in lawsuit over unpaid rent at Mueller location(Alamo Drafthouse/Facebook)

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