Photo Provided by: Visit Austin

Perhaps few experiences will be as welcome as when you can finally return to your favorite theater and recline in your seat with a tub of popcorn, as the lights dim and the credits roll.

Both the film industry and local theaters face steep challenges on the road back to normalcy. The true artistry of film is kept alive by these theaters and the independent films they show. Now, you can continue to support them at a time they need it most. Several amazing Texas cinemas are offering virtual screenings of new releases and restored classics that you can rent directly from their sites. So get your popcorn ready, curl up on the couch and enjoy the show. Just remember: no talking or cell phones, please.


One of the premier cinemas to watch a film in Austin, Violet Crown is renowned for its curation of independent, documentary and foreign films. Currently, more than 30 films are available to rent and watch at home. 


The Houston Cinema Arts Society is currently offering two unique virtual experiences. The first—in conjunction with the Houston Film Commission—is a retro showcase that includes a virtual Q&A with filmmakers. The second is presented with PSA (Pleasure Style Attitude) and is a weeklong screening of seven films by two experimental artists, Sky Hopinka and Simon Liu. Tickets include a live virtual Q&A with the filmmakers on May 13.


The world-famous Alamo Drafthouse is offering their virtual Alamo-At-Home experience as a way to continue to share their love of film while they remain closed. Their current lineup includes seven films with more coming soon, as well as additional content for film aficionados on their Birth.Movies.Death. YouTube channel.


The Dallas and Houston-area Cinépolis theater chain is currently offering nine films through their virtual cinema program. 100% of the proceeds support the filmmakers and the theater employees. Additionally, Cinépolis Rewards Members can try Magnolia Selects streaming service free for 14 days.


Bryan, Texas, is home to the iconic Queen Theatre—built in the late 1800s as a hotel and revived as a single-screen theater in 2018. The Queen’s Film Society is currently offering four virtual film screenings in addition to a live Q&A discussion with film scholar Joe McElhaney. 


The Austin Film Society, which supports and promotes filmmakers and the creative film communities of Austin and Texas at large, is currently screening a range of its programming virtually to help sustain the AFS Cinema during its closure.


The Texas Theatre was originally constructed in 1931 and stood as one of the most technologically advanced theatres in America. The theatre was revived in 2010 by the Oak Cliff Film Foundation which also started the annual Oak Cliff Film Festival which continues to bring together film enthusiasts. Today, at yet another historic moment for the theatre, it is releasing a selection of films online for virtual screenings.