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Ciné in downtown Athens, Georgia on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. Ciné is a non-profit, community-based movie theater in a restored historic venue. 
(Photo/Taylor Gerlach)

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted Athens’ service and entertainment industries as social-distancing efforts and shelter-in-place ordinances became the new normal.

Movie theaters face a complex challenge in adapting to the crisis — unlike restaurants and grocery stores, movie theaters can’t offer take-out or curbside pickup for their main product.

Ciné has responded to the pandemic by increasing its slate of digital rentals available to purchase through its website and launching a new online shop for limited edition merchandise.

The Ciné Store offers T-shirts, tank tops and tote bags with a print featuring other Athens’ entertainment venues such as the 40 Watt Club, Little Kings Shuffle Club and the Morton Theatre. The store can be accessed here.

Ciné joins other independent theaters partnering with studios and distributors to offer newer films through their websites. Ciné’s slate of offerings, which include 2019's “Saint Frances” and “Sorry We Missed You,” cost $12 to stream and can be accessed for three to five days.

Ciné’s virtual marquee is offering “The American Nurse” to stream for free until April 23. The documentary follows the work and lives of five American nurses.

“We are so glad to bring this film to our community in honor of all of our brave and selfless health care professionals,” Ciné said in an email to patrons.

Other offerings

Cine is also streaming supernatural comedy film "Extra Ordinary." The theater’s website will provide a link to a live Q&A with the film's directors Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman and star Maeve Higgins at 6 p.m. on April 17.

Other offerings include “Sorry We Missed You,” a drama following a family recovering from the 2008 economic crash, “Saint Frances,” a deadpan comedy about a nanny and the 6 year old she cares for and Swedish-Georgian drama "And Then We Danced.” The virtual marquee will offer "The Booksellers" and "The Roads Not Taken" on April 24.

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