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DeBartolo Performing Arts center starts virtual movie club

The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center has started a virtual movie club for film buffs who are safe at home due to COVID-19.

The club - Zoom Back Camera - encourages film buffs to watch specific films on their own time and then join an online discussion about the film.

The online discussions will be held Mondays through Thursdays with host Ricky Herbst, and a featured guest.

Herbst, cinema program director for the center's Browning Cinema, says this virtual interaction is meant to keep movie lovers connected during this time of social distancing.

“Before screenings in the Browning Cinema, we have a tradition,” Herbst explained. “We invite the guests to take 30 seconds to shake the hand of someone you don’t know, wave to someone new or make a new friend. The goal is to actively build the vibrant and ephemeral communities movies have formed for decades. Our shared experiences in cinemas are why so many of us fell in love with the movies — laughing and crying and screaming together is an amazing way to experience art. While we and many other venues sensibly stepped away from public screenings, the need for those shared laughs and cries and screams comes into sharper relief now more than ever."

Each Friday a new schedule of films for the upcoming week is published on the center's Facebook page and sent to email newsletter subscribers.

Some films may require a nominal online rental fee, while others are available via streaming services. There is no fee to take part in the interactive online discussion, which stream on YouTube. To receive the newsletter, sign up at the center's website.

“It’s impossible to replicate the rush of going to the movies,” Herbst said. “But, we’re working with what we've got. We hope these screenings are an enjoyable way for movie lovers to structure their day, learn more about film and keep our community together until we can start shaking hands in the Browning Cinema again.”

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