At Home - Eddie Tamir and his team at the Ritz (Sydney) and Classic (Melbourne) launch a new Video on Demand service to cope with the Plague Times
Editor's Note: Cinema Reborn subscribers and supporters would be only too aware of the strong bond that exists between Cinema Reborn and the very independent cinemas owned, operated and programmed by Eddie Tamir and his family and staff in Sydney and Melbourne. Eddie's intervention saved the 2019 season of Cinema Reborn and in 2020 the program was intended to expand from the Ritz Randwick to the Classic Cinema in Melbourne's Elsternwick. In response to the current cinema closures a new streaming service called At Home is about to be launched. Here is the first announcement.
Classic, Lido and Cameo Cinemas in Melbourne and Sydney's Ritz Cinemas (left) are proud to announce the launch of their own VOD (video on demand) service called 'At Home', available online now.
The teams at Classic, Lido, Cameo and Ritz Cinemas have always been passionate about championing the whole spectrum of films up on their big screens: Australian cinema, festival fare, arthouse cinema and holiday blockbusters. Now, they're extending that passion to this new online platform – At Home – which is the first of its kind for Australian cinemas. At Home offers curated programs of unique, compelling and high quality content from both local and international distributors, covering everything from new and recent releases to hidden gems from extensive back catalogues.
Launching with hundreds of titles to browse, the At Home VOD service is accessible from each of the cinemas' websites and gives loyal fans of the cinemas the opportunity to support them by renting or buying titles to watch at home. Rental prices vary from $4.99 to $7.99 for most titles for 48 hours viewing time over 14 days.
Local distributor partners include Madman, Umbrella, Roadshow, StudioCanal, Vendetta, Potential Films, Hi Gloss, JIFF Distribution and FilmInk Presents. Titles have also been sourced from international rights holders, including the American Genre Film Archive, which specialises in preserving the legacy of genre movies that might otherwise have been forgotten. The team at Classic, Lido, Cameo and Ritz Cinemas are working hard to add more distributors and additional films to the selection, ensuring that there is something new to watch every week.
The programming ranges from classic back catalogue films to recent releases, and there are even a handful of films that are completely brand new to market, also known as PVOD (Premium Video on Demand). Films are arranged into carefully curated programming streams including 'Female Gaze' (spotlighting women filmmakers), Australian Cinema, LGBTQI+ and 'Weird and Wonderful'.
Some titles already on offer include: psychedelic horror starring Nicolas Cage Color Out of Space (2019); indie sci-fi Vivarium (2019) starring Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots; the completely new to VOD and two-time Oscar nominated documentary Honeyland (2019) about the last female bee-hunter in Europe; and France's breathtaking queer romance hit from last year Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
"We are cinema people, first and foremost," said Eddie Tamir, owner of the four cinemas and director of programming.
"We are thrilled that our new At Home platform allows us to present great films of the recent and distant past alongside our cinema experience. We love being able to refer our customers directly to our personal film favourites and many of the great films in history on our very own streaming service.
"Our At Home platform allows us to place the new releases in our cinemas in context of what came before them. Our film-obsessed staff will provide reviews to films they personally care about and act as guides through this magical mystery tour of films. Our catalogue will be a place of film discovery with an eclectic range of content to browse, just as our cinemas have always offered."
Classic, Lido, Cameo and Ritz Cinemas have always upheld the importance of spotlighting Australian films of all sizes, and the At Home VOD platform will keep up that tradition with dozens of Australian titles included in the library. These range from the recent climate change documentary 2040 (2019)to Ozploitation classic The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978).
The four cinemas annually host several film festivals, including the Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF), Children's International Film Festival (CHIFF), and Fantastic Film Festival Australia (FFFA). Curated collections of films underneath these banners will be found on the At Home platform, selecting from festival programs from previous years.
This includes exclusive films found on no other streaming platforms: German supernatural horror film Luz (2018); Hungarian Holocaust drama 1945 (2017); much-talked-about Australian documentary Man on the Bus(2019); and one for the kids, Gordon & Paddy (2017).
Other upcoming exclusive titles to the At Home platforms for Classic, Lido, Cameo and Ritz will be the new Lassie Come Home remake; the winner of Outstanding Children or Youth Film at the German Film Awards this year, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit; and winner of Best Film at the 2019 Ophir Awards (the Israeli Oscars), Incitement, which details the events leading up to the 1995 assassination of Israel's Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin.
The At Home platform also presents premieres of films via PVOD such as Hearts and Bones starring Hugo Weaving (available now) and Berlinale audience award-winning documentary Talking About Trees (coming soon), which chronicles the efforts of four retired Sudanese filmmakers to revive an old cinema.
To celebrate the launch of At Home, each of the four cinemas is opening up their box office windows or front doors for a short time this Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16 from 4pm to 8pm to sell choc-tops and popcorn at special rates. Customers who come by to pick up some popcorn or choc-tops to take home can also pick up a promotional code to use on their first film rented from At Home.