The Austin Chronicle

Violet Crown Reopening for Private Screenings With RSVP Cinema

By Richard Whittaker, March 1, 2021, 7:20pm, Picture in Picture

Austin's Violet Crown Cinema is getting ready to bloom again, as management announced they are reopening for private screenings with their new RSVP Cinema program, where you can book your own movies to watch in a screen all to yourself.

The announcement comes after almost a complete year of closure for Violet Crown. The locally-based minichain shut the doors of its Austin site in March 17 of last year. and in May management reaffirmed their decision to stay dark until the theatre could reopen safely.

During the near year-long closure, Violet Crown has been a standard bearer for virtual cinema, giving new releases a local streaming venue and ensuring that art house theatres could weather the storm. However, with vaccinations beginning to ramp up, Violet Crown has announced its limited reopening.

Chief Operating Officer Melody Smith said that many loyal customers had reached out over the last year to ask about private screening opportunities. She said, “RSVP Cinema allows our guests to experience movies again on the big screen, in a safe and comfortable environment.”

Of course, the top priority is healthy and safety, and the Austin cinema will be using the same protocols implemented at their Charlottesville location. That includes disinfecting all theaters with professional-grade electrostatic sanitizer sprayers screenings, and modifying the HVAC systems with ionization air purifying systems, as well as decreasing the amount of recycled air by increasing the fresh air intake. All guests will be masked in communal areas, and staff will wear masks and gloves at all times.

On top of that, the cinema has had a spruce-up over the last year: repainted, with new art and a deep clean throughout, all in time for RSVP Cinema.

It's a similar program to what's available through the Alamo Drafthouse's Personal Theater program, in which you get to rent a screen and show the movie of your choice.

• Pick a time and day. Screen rental varies from $50 to $100, depending on time of day, and you buy individual tickets for each person attending.
• Pick your film from an array of new releases, with a mixture of critical smashes like Mank, Minari, Judas and the Black Messiah, and more, as well as fun fare like Wonder Woman 1984 and Tom and Jerry.
• Feel like a classic? Then make a selection from Jukebox Cinema, featuring over 100 archive titles like Fargo, Moonstruck, Network - heck, even sob along to The Notebook if you're in a cathartic mood. Or maybe you have kids, or feel like reminiscing about your own childhood: make it a family night out with The Neverending Story or Follow That Bird.
• Don't see anything that grabs your fancy? You can bring your own Blu-ray, or even have the greatest gaming session of your life by bringing in your own console (must have HDMI connectors).
• Got the time and title set? Violet Crown will send you a link. You can use this to buy tickets for the screening for friends and family.
• And what about food? After all, cinema and snacks go together like hotdogs and buns, but RSVP Cinema gets rid of the need to go to the lobby with Order More, an online and text-based system with in-theatre delivery.

Reservations are available now at

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