Watch new theatrical releases at home in Tull Family Theater’s virtual screening room

Sunday, March 29, 2020 | 9:48 PM

In times of covid-19, filmgoers can still enjoy new theatrical releases in the safety of their home, online, via the virtual screening room of The Tull Family Theater.

The Theater, which hadn’t closed its 365-day-a-year operation for a since day since launching three years ago, did not hesitate to close its doors on March 13 to prevent the spread of the covid-19 pandemic.

Within days, the Theater launched an online virtual screening room with new theatrical releases available through its website, Some of these are paid offerings to help bridge the Theater through its temporary closure; some are free, made possible by cultural partners of the Theater.

To view virtual screening options, patrons need only to access the Theater’s website and click on the film for more information.  The independent film distributors set the “ticket” cost and split it with the Theater. Also depending on the distributor, some films have limited runs, just as they would in a cinema; others have indefinite timeframes of availability.

Recognizing that online screenings might be a new experience for some filmgoers, the Theater is providing free help to those who encounter snags in setting their online film experience. These patrons are asked to email and leave their phone number; a Theater team member will give a call.

While the traditional cinematic week begins on Friday, new films can open in the virtual screening room on any day, so the Theater suggests checking its website regularly. Programming notes continue to be shared through the Theater’s Weekly Update, a free email shared weekly with subscribers, then posted on the Theater’s website, under the ABOUT tab.

Currently available in the virtual screening room are domestic and international films:

Fantastic Fungi attracted sell-out crowds last month to the Theater’s national Science on Screen® programming, wowing multiple generations. From health professionals to foodies, outdoorsies to scientists, and classrooms from various school districts—hundreds joined us to learn about the world under our feet.

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band provides a musical history of what some consider the North American equivalent of The Beatles. “When The Band were at the height of their powers there was simply nothing else like them, and there likely never will be,” says

In Phoenix, Oregon, well-respected indie actors James Le Gros and Jesse Borrego portray two friends, a graphic novelist and a chef, who decide to defy midlife haze by seizing an unlikely opportunity to reinvent their lives in small-town America. “To put it simply—and, yes, gratefully—Phoenix, Oregon is the sort of movie a lot of us need right now,” remarks Variety.  Available only through April 2.

Saint Frances, a contemporary tale of a thirtysomething woman becoming a nanny for 6-year-old Frances in an Audience Award favorite at both the SXSW and the American Film Festival. This humorous drama also snagged the Jury Award at SXSW and the Prix de la Critique at Champs-Élysées Film Festival. Starring and written by Kelly O’Sullivan.

And international  options:

And Then We Danced, a coming-of-age tale set in the conservative confines of Georgia’s capital city, and the world of competitive dancers. “And Then We Danced is thus part political rebellion, part masterpiece romance, and a true privilege to witness,” says the Chicago Reader.

Bacurau, a Brazilian film compared by Vogue to the Oscar-winning Parasite, as a small, rural community unites against immediate duress. The UK Standard calls is “agonizingly suspenseful… laugh out loud funny too.” As a bonus: Join a YouTube Live Q&A with international character actor Udo Kier and filmmakers Kleber Medonca Filbo and Juliano Dornelles on April 1 at 8 p.m. EDT. In Portugese, subtitled in English. Film available through Tuesday, April 7.

Balloon, based on a true story about a family’s 1979 attempt to escape the confines of East Germany in a homemade hot-air balloon.  “a nerve-wincher, a cracking good escape thriller,” says the National Review, “but that’s not all…” In German, subtitled in English.

The Whistlers, a comedy/crime/thriller starts with a policeman who plays both sides of the law and heads into a high-stakes heist with a femme fatale, navigating corruption, treachery and deception. “If you’ve never experienced the Romanian New Wave,” writes TheWrap, “The Whistlers is as good a place as any to start.” In Romanian, subtitled in English.

Coming Soon: The Traitor, a film is based on the real life of Tommaso Buscetta, the so-called “boss of the two worlds” and the first Mafia informant in Sicily in the 1980s.

“One of the most revealing portraits of the Cosa Nostra on film,” declares The Hollywood Reporter.