A new service called Gathr Films has picked 20 movie markets, including Pittsburgh, for sneak previews of first-run movies ahead of their New York and Los Angeles theatrical openings.
Gathr, launched in 2011, specializes in what it calls "Theatrical on Demand" distribution. The films won't be shown for free but as part of a membership program with year-round offerings, with four or more films a month from such distributors as Millennium Entertainment, Kino-Lorber Films, Snag Films and Music Box Films.
"The Previews program expands Gathr's mission to kickstart a renaissance of moviegoing and allows audiences in these cities to participate in the 'life story' of the film at a much earlier stage," Scott Glosserman, founder and CEO of Gathr, said in an emailed press release. "And thanks to social media, their voices and opinions can be heard immediately."
The program will begin May 2 at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont with "The Iceman," starring Michael Shannon as contract killer Richard Kuklinski, nicknamed "The Iceman." The cast also includes Winona Ryder and Chris Evans.
Also expected to screen there in May or June are "Ain't in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm," "What Maisie Knew" starring Alexander Skarsgard, Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan, and "The Good Son: The Life of Ray Boom Boom Mancini."
Membership: one month, $19; three months, $49. Seven days before each movie, Gathr Previews members receive an email alerting them to the screening details and they must RSVP at least 24 hours ahead to reserve seats.
Seats not reserved will be sold to the public on screening day. A limited number of full price companion tickets for non-members are held for each screening on a first-come basis.
See gathr.us/films for further information.