BROOKLINE, Mass. — Actor Ethan Hawke is throwing his support behind a fundraising effort by a Boston-area independent theater that has struggled to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ethan Hawke

Actor Ethan Hawke, shown in January, is urging people to support the Coolidge Corner Theatre, a Brookline, Mass., independent movie house that has suffered financially under pandemic-era restrictions and shutdowns. Charles Sykes/Invision/Associated Press

The four-time Oscar nominee in a short video made in a Rome hotel room urged people to back the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline.

He said in an age of at-home streaming, movie theaters provide an opportunity to get together, talk and share.

“If we define progress by the fact that we can all stream our movies from our home, and we never have to leave our house, and we never have to see each other again, I think we’ve really lost why cinema and why movies are the church of my choice,” he said. “It’s because of places like the Coolidge, places in America where we go to be together, to share stories, to generate empathy together, to broaden our views, and be together.”

He also recounted what he called “one of the best experiences” of his life at the Coolidge, a question and answer session following the screening of a movie he directed.

The message was originally filmed for the Coolidge’s 2020 Film Trivia Night Fundraiser in early December.

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