The inside of the Senator Theater on York Road in 2014. Photo by Amy Davis,
used with permission.

Starting this week, Baltimore cinephiles can watch a series of short films and help support The Senator Theatre, which, like theaters across the country, has had to shutdown to limit the spread of coronavirus.

ShortsTV, exclusive presenter of Oscar-nominated short films, is partnering with the Senator and more than 60 other independent theaters to present feature-length compilations of shorts beginning June 26.

The initiative will launch with a collection ShortsTV is calling One Small Step, featuring family-friendly animated shorts such as Academy Award winner “Bear Story,” Oscar nominees “One Small Step,” “Gopher Broke,” “Borrowed Time,” and other titles.

“For fifteen years, these independent theaters have been the biggest supporters of the Oscar Nominated Short Films and the nominees who made them. We are grateful for their dedication to our artform which has given these fabulous films a platform and a national audience,” ShortsTV CEO and founder Carter Pilcher said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be able to bring together great shorts once again to support independent theaters and their staff during this trying time.”

Every two weeks ShortsTV will release a new compilation on Vimeo that the partnering theaters will then get to distribute. Each package costs $7.99 to rent and is available on demand for three days.

Like theaters big and small, the Senator has transitioned to screening new and old releases through its website while coronavirus-related restrictions forbid large crowds. The arrangement helps new releases find an audience while theaters are closed and provides an influx of cash for movie houses.

Starting in July, the Senator will feature the documentaries “Elliott Erwitt: Silence Sounds Good” and “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” and the 1995 drama “Shanghai Triad.”

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Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore...