A new website called Gathr may be revolutionizing the theatrical distribution process just as Netflix did for home-entertainment. Gathr allows individuals to bring lesser-known, independent films to theaters in their hometown by promoting them online, similar to the fundraising site Kickstarter.

The process was recently brought to Minnesota with a documentary screening at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis. In order to ensure the screening, the proposed film has to garner a certain amount of ticket reservations, which can be anywhere from 40 to 100, depending on the theater size. The show at Riverview sold nearly 400 tickets and now the same movie is being screened at St. Anthony Main on Sunday, and potentially at Eden Prairie.

Launched only in March, Gathr has already created enormous buzz around this “Theatrical On Demand” distribution, as the founder trademarked it. The process both provides potentially thousands of more screens for unknown filmmakers and allows us Midwesterners to see works of art that, in the past, were restricted to New York and Los Angeles. It’s a win-win.