“Phoenix, Oregon"

A scene from “Phoenix, Oregon,” a new independent film.

The film “Phoenix, Oregon,” an independent film gem, was slated to open in theaters across the nation on Friday, March 20. Attending a theater to see this film seems an impossibility, but thanks to the ingenuity of a group of distributors and producers, we can all see this film. Aspiration Entertainment in association with Ryan Bruce Levey Film Distribution and Joma Films have banded together to fight coronavirus with its own “novel” concept: Theatrical at Home. This concept allows viewers to purchase tickets from a theater but then watch it at home. It’s a win-win for everyone as filmmakers still release their film, viewers get to watch a new release in the safety of their homes, and theater owners share a 50/50 split in all revenues.

In an already struggling business, theaters have no way to bring in income for the foreseeable future, but thanks to these innovative film distributors, “Phoenix, Oregon” is available to view beginning Friday, March 20 for the matinee price of $6.50. Here’s how it works: Go to phoenixoregonmovie.com, buy a ticket at the matinee price of $6.50 from any of the participating theaters listed, send your ticket receipt to the address provided and receive a one-time link to watch the film at home. But that’s not all. You’ll also receive a free digital copy of the movie upon its official release this summer.

With many major film distributors kicking their films down the road for a future release date and most films ceasing production to create new content, this concept will certainly help fill the coronavirus film void. It’s wonderful to have not only a new film to watch, but to also know that you’re helping a small business owner possibly stay afloat in these difficult times.

Annie Lundgren, Producer of “Phoenix, Oregon” stated,

“We want to encourage safety for our audiences while also supporting the theaters who have committed to our release. We also want to be responsible world citizens while figuring out how to support those theaters, movie fans, and each other. This is different than a ‘day and date’ release in that all of the digital streaming revenues are shared 50/50 directly with the theaters, rather than cutting them out when they need help the most.”

This offer is available to residents of both the U.S. and Canada beginning this Friday, March 20.

Erik Løkkesmoe, president of Aspiration Entertainment, described “Phoenix, Oregon” as a “…smart and soulful comedy about mid-life reinvention and the redeeming power of friendship.” That succinctly depicts this entertainingly thoughtful film starring James Le Gros, Lisa Edelstein, and Kevin Corrigan.

The film centers around Bobby (Le Gros) who is in a dead-end serving job when an opportunity presents itself to take a new path in life while helping a childhood friend, Carlos (Jesse Borrego), fulfill his dream — opening a pizza and bowling center. The story is filled with rich characters in a small town, all of whom remind us of the importance of friendship and forgiveness. Le Gros portrays Bobby as a wryly cynical man, wary of not just everyone around him, but his own feelings and desires as well. This adds a dry and oftentimes sarcastic style of humor to the story giving it a sense of reality. It’s a complicated performance inciting connection as well as the need for hope and never giving up on our dreams. Corrigan in the supporting role as the bowling alley repair man, stands out, making us laugh and dislike him even though we really don’t want to.

“Phoenix, Oregon” delivers a slice of hometown love, giving us hope that we are never too old to follow our dreams. The only thing missing from this film is a recipe for the pizza crust and sauce, but I’m hoping to fulfill this dream as well!

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