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Sofa Cinema Series Offers Digital Experience For Milwaukee Film Fans

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Ann-Elise Henzl
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The Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee closed for business just before Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' safer-at-home order.

Like other in-person institutions, movie theaters have been suffering during the coronavirus pandemic. For Milwaukee Film, which owns and operates the Oriental Theatre, the shutdown has meant changing its business model to fit the needs of its fans.

But how do you compete with digital streaming services, like Netflix or Hulu, when your business focuses on quality film curation? For Milwaukee Film, the answer is its Sofa Cinema series. It combines curated films with some of the more social aspects of movie-going that you expect from a cinema experience.

"We’re only really showing three films at a time and a couple of additional movies, special screenings, special opportunities. So, our audience knows that these are still on-brand with Milwaukee Film, they’re handpicked," says Jonathan Jackson, CEO and artistic director of Milwaukee Film. 

Sofa Cinema is holding a number of events, including Best of Cat Video Fest: Creature Comforts Edition and locally-made film Give Me Liberty

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, she was a director and producer for The Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.