Virtual movie screening of ‘Phoenix, Oregon’ raises $4K for state’s restaurant workers


Oregon Hospitality Foundation's 'Takeout and a Movie' event raised enough money to fund an estimated 11,500 meals.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More than $4,000 was raised from ticket sales of a virtual movie screening to benefit sidelined restaurant workers during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Oregon-made “Phoenix, Oregon” film was part of an event put on by Oregon Hospitality Foundation called “Takeout and a Movie.”

Jesse Borrego co-stars in the Oregon-made film “Phoenix, Oregon.” May 08, 2020 (photo courtesy Joma Films).

The ticket sales, contributions from OHF and a generous donation from Grubhub Community Relief Fund raised enough money to fund an estimated 11,500 meals, a press release from OHF stated.

The virtual screening was held from May 8-17 and included a Q and A with the cast and crew.

“Phoenix, Oregon,” a slice of life comedy, boasts a 79 percent Fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. It had the unusual distinction of ranking first in box office ticket sales nationwide for multiple weekends in March and April, even though most all theaters were closed in the U.S. Producers premiered the film by using the nation’s first “Theatrical-At-Home” screening process, at just $6.50 per ticket, the profits of which were split with the shuttered theaters who had planned to show the movie before COVID-19.

“I think it really resonated with people that we tried to help and give back, rather than charge $20.00 for a digital release when people are hurting, and cut the theaters out of the equation,” Gary Lundgren, the film’s writer and director, said in a press release. “In the end, we probably got more attention for Phoenix, Oregon with our theatrical-at-home platform and helping others than we would have gotten with the traditional release in theatres.”

James Le Gros co-stars in the Klamath Falls made film “Phoenix, Oregon.” May 08, 2020 (photo courtesy Joma Films).

The movie will be available on home video June 1 via most major streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video Direct and Apple TV, as well as DVD/Bluray.

The next Oregon-made movie in OHF’s “Takeout and A Movie” charity series will be announced in June, OHF said.

Editor’s note: This story previously incorrectly stated over $2,000 was raised from ticket sales of “Phoenix, Oregon” for restaurant workers. It has been corrected.

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