How does virtual cinema work?

Virtual cinema is a way to support a/perture and the independent film industry while theaters are closed across the country. New releases are made available directly from the film distributors for you to watch at home. When you purchase a ticket, you will have anywhere from 2-5 days to stream your film. You’ll receive a confirmation email with your purchase, along with some instructions for how to view. Here are some other ways to watch your virtual film on your tv!

Can I watch with an HDMI cable?

Yes, as long as you have the proper output or adaptor for your computer. Check out our how-to video on this page!

  • Simply plug an HDMI cable from your laptop to your tv. (Note: MacBooks need a special adaptor, along with some other “notebook” style laptops such as the Windows Surface)
  • Set up your computer’s display settings to “mirror” your screen (usually found in settings > display)
  • You should see your computer screen on your tv as well
  • Open the film in your computer’s internet browser and make it full screen
  • Press play on your computer. You can adjust the volume on your tv

If having your laptop screen open is distracting while watching the film, turn your screen brightness all the way down. You might also want to make sure your computer is plugged in to a power source and that it isn’t set to automatically “sleep” due to inactivity.

How do I watch with Roku / Firestick?

Several film distributors have their own “channels” that you can add to your Roku or Firestick, including Kino Now, Film Movement Plus, and others. For films that are hosted on Vimeo, you can add the Vimeo channel!

  • On your home screen, search channels for the appropriate distributor and click “add channel”
  • (Not sure who the distributor is for your film? It’s usually listed on the checkout pages for your ticket purchase or in your confirmation email. You can also watch the film trailer and the distributor’s name should be one of the first things you see!)
  • Go back to your channel list, find the new channel you’ve added, and login (you’ll use the same credentials you used when purchased a ticket)
  • Once you’re logged in, find “My Library,” and you should see your film listed there!

How do I cast to my Chromecast

If you have a Google Chromecast, you can cast a video from your computer or smart device using the following steps:

  • Open the movie on your device.
  • At the bottom right of the screen you should see the casting icon. It looks like this: casting icon on mobile device
  • If you don’t see that icon and you’re casting from a computer in the Chrome browser, you can open the menu in the upper right corner of the window (or the View menu) and select “Cast”.
  • Once you select that button, it should give you the option to select a nearby device, so you’d then select your Chromecast. If you don’t see your Chromecast, make sure both devices are on the same wireless network.

You can find more details on the Chromecast website.


How do I watch on my Smart TV?

The best way to access content on your Smart TV is to download the App from your TV App store if you have a supported Apple or Android TV.*

If you have another type of Smart TV, such as Samsung, it may not be possible to log in or play the content from the built-in internet browser. In other words, it could work, but those browsers are not among our currently supported browsers. If you’d like to try, here are the steps to watch on a Smart TV’s browser:

  • On your TV, open the internet browser and visit the site.
  • Enter your email address, submit, and you will be emailed a link.
  • On a SEPARATE device (i.e. another computer or mobile device), open your email inbox, open the login email, and click the LOGIN link.
  • Go back to your TV browser, and you should be logged in to watch.

* Supported Android TVs include AirTV, Nvidia, Hisense, Philips, Sharp, Skyworth, Sony, and Xiaomi.

If that method doesn’t work on your TV, you can check out some of the other options on the Samsung website.


How do I cast this to my Apple TV?

You can do that using a method called AirPlay! Here is how to do it:

  •  Open the movie on your iPhone or iPad
  • At the bottom right of the video window you should see the AirPlay icon. It looks like a rectangle with an upward triangle in the middle.
  • Once you tap the icon, select “Apple TV” from the list of devices

If you don’t see the AirPlay icon, make sure it’s enabled in Settings > General > Airplay & Handoff. You can also find these instructions and more information on the Apple website