The only thing most of us have to do to help fight COVID-19 is stay home. That’s it. Just stay indoors and stay the hell away from other people. Obviously it’s not ideal, but it’s also far from the biggest sacrifice anyone has ever had to make. Plus, we keep getting new ways to fill our free time, as more and more studios and streaming sites are making content free for everyone. Now Lionsgate and YouTube are teaming up to give us something to watch while recreating the experiencing of watching movies with other people. They’re airing a series of free Friday night films featuring some very big titles, all hosted by Jamie Lee Curtis. Because quarantine doesn’t even sound like a chore when we can all watch John Wick, The Hunger Games, La La Land, and Dirty Dancing together.
Lionsgate Live! A Night at the Movies (which we first heard about at Variety) will kick off this Friday, April 17 on YouTube at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) with The Hunger Games. Then Dirty Dancing will air on April 24. La La Land will follow on May 1, and then John Wick on May 8. (Age registration will be required to watch our favorite assassin, Baba Yaga in a sharp black suit.)
During the screenings host Jamie Lee Curtis “will share her own movie memories.” She will also be “joined by special guest celebrities and YouTube personalities.” Each movie showing “will feature special programming and interactive opportunities for fans.” That will include real-time fan chats via YouTube Live, live tweeting, movie trivia, and movie-themed challenges.
Lionsgate is also partnering with Fandango and NATO on the series. It won’t just help keep us entertained. It will “help furloughed movie theater employees across America.” And those tuning in will be able to help too.
“Audiences everywhere will have the chance to join Lionsgate in showing support for the country’s temporarily jobless movie theater employees and how much we all appreciate and miss them. Lionsgate’s initial donation as well as the audience and partner donations throughout this event will benefit the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping workers throughout the motion picture industry, and will link to the Foundation’s charitable page so that viewers who are able can help as well. The Will Rogers Foundation is currently providing financial assistance to theater employees furloughed by the COVID-19 crisis.”
Would we rather spend Friday night in a packed movie theater on opening night for the next big release? Of course. But staying home and watching some classic movies for free isn’t exactly the hardest thing we’ve ever been asked to do, even if it is really important we do it.
Featured Image: Lionsgate