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Watching Movies in 2020

Well, 2020 started out pretty positively. For movies, at least.

Parasite won Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony in February, late-releasing films such as Little Women, Uncut Gems, and Portrait of a Lady on Fire were either finishing up runs at Red River or about to start screening, and the movie calendar for the coming year looked to be filled with not only interesting and provoking independent cinema, but some intriguing blockbuster releases as well.

Then the world was hit with a global pandemic, which not only put a stop to people gathering at movie theaters, but also live music, theater, sporting events, and even religious gatherings, for a time.

For a lot of us the instinct was to dive headfirst into movies about disease-related disasters: both Contagion and Outbreak proved popular on various streaming services. For others, escapism was key, and more comforting fare like Frozen II and Onward were welcome distractions from reality. Then, during the summer, drive-in theaters had a resurgence; you could see a new release such as Tenet or The Rental, or a time-tested classic like Star Wars or Friday the 13th.

We even put on or helped screen a few movies outside during the summer. From the recently released John Lewis: Good Trouble and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, to classics like Toy Story and Casablanca, Red River was eager to be able to bring some of the best movies, on a big screen, to the people of Concord (and the greater area). Still, you can only show movies outdoors for so many months of the year, and streaming services proved the most effective way to connect audiences with both challenging art and entertaining escapism. Our own “Virtual Cinema” came together as other independent cinemas’ did; as both a collaboration between independent distributors, and hardworking theater employees, putting in the time and energy to curate selections that fit their audiences.

Red River’s own Barry Steelman is the man behind selecting the titles screened at Red River when there isn’t a global pandemic, and he’s maintained that role in curating our Virtual Cinema. Here are a few words from him on our experiment in delivering quality cinema virtually:

When Red River Theatres temporarily closed in mid-March concern arose about continuing a monetary flow (however modest) and maintaining contact with our established customer base.

Enterprising indie film distributors (most of which we had conducted business with theatrically) began making their new releases available to us via “virtual cinema” streaming services.  

None of the titles being offered had humongous box office prospects but the majority had considerable merit as quality entertainment.  It then became a question as to which titles would be best appreciated by Red River patrons—and a distinct correlation to what had been successfully presented in our Simchik venue evolved.

Extra Ordinary, Saint Frances, Runner, Desert One, Martin Eden, Collective, Another Round, and more are pertinent examples of the 100 choices made during the past 10 months.

Until circumstances provide us with an appropriate opportunity to reopen, we hope you will enjoy the films we are selecting for “virtual” viewing.

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  • Red River is the best cinematic experience that my wife and I have ever had – viewing angle, sound, seating, snacks, staff, web site are top shelf, and the movie selections themselves are talked about for days.

  • My favorite place to see a movie. I always know that whenever I drop in to Red River Theatres, I’ll have a great cinematic experience.

  • Red River Theatres enhances the quality of life in Concord and throughout New Hampshire by offering a continuous selection of the finest and most critically acclaimed movies ranging from independent gems to documentaries to foreign films.

Red River Theatres, Inc.

11 S. Main Street Suite L1-1

Concord, NH 03301

Phone Numbers

Movie Phone: 603.224.4600

Main Office: 603.224.4697

Email Address