We're big fans of Violet Crown Cinema's local presence (as we are with all of Santa Fe's many, many theater options), so when we heard the theater/restaurant/beer hall would have to close because of public health restrictions related to COVID-19, it didn't feel great. We understood, but, like, it's still hard because it's a fantastic theater.
That was just about a week ago, according to manager Peter Grendle, who now tells SFR the company made a deal with distributors like Film Movement to offer virtual screenings of films that were slated to screen at Violet Crown soon.
"It's pretty tough to find that curated experience that Violet Crown would usually try to offer," Grendle tells SFR, "with the right atmosphere and the right beer and the right food—that's always our goal, but now we're saying, how are we going to keep the dream alive?"
By visiting violetcrown.com and selecting the Santa Fe theater, its normal online box office now comes with the option to buy "virtual tickets." Once you've paid, you'll be whisked away to a screening of that film on your tablet, phone, computer, etc. The proceeds will still go to Violet Crown and the film's distributors as they normally would with in-house screenings.
"It's a way for us to stay connected and in the game," Grendle adds. "I've said it before and I'll say it again: Santa Fe has the most intelligent audiences in the country, and to have every single theater in town deleted in a week is a tragedy. But the reason we're doing this is because we love movies. Maybe just squint your eyes, eat a burger, drink a beer and imagine you're at the the Violet Crown?"
Grendle says the virtual screenings are an experiment for now, but if all goes well, the company could potentially expand its selections and continue the process as long as needed. For now, viewers can choose between last year's Corpus Christi, 1976's L'innocente and 2019's The Wild Goose Lake. Yes, they're indies and foreign films, but if you're not hip to the world of indie and/or foreign cinema, what are you even doing with yourself? Use this time at home to expand your horizons, even.
Visit Violet Crown's digital box office for more.