Bank of America, Lyft Among Companies Buying Out Theaters for Ruth Bader Ginsburg Doc

More than 70 private screenings are scheduled beginning this weekend, when 'RBG' opens in select theaters.

Bank of America, Lyft and Salesforce are among more than 60 companies, law firms and advocacy orgs buying out at least 70 showtimes of RBG, a new doc chronicling the life and accomplishments of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The screening program kicks off this weekend, when RBG commences its run in select cinemas, and will continue in the coming weeks as the doc expands into additional locations.

Law firms hosting showings of the film for employees, clients and community members include O'Melveny & Myers and Willkie Farr & Gallagher, according to Participant Media, which waged an extensive social action campaign timed to the film. The screenings are designed to highlight women's rights and gender parity, two areas where Ginsburg has been a pioneer. Advocacy orgs involved in the effort include the American Civil Liberties Union.

Participant partnered with indie distributor Magnolia in picking up rights to RBG following the doc's premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, where Ginsburg — who was in the audience — received no fewer than three standing ovations. The doc is directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, who convinced Ginsburg to participate in the film and letting the filmmakers shoot one of her famous workouts.

"I hope that I can continue to be a part of making that 'a more perfect union,'" the 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice told festival-goers, referencing the famous opening line of the Constitution. "The idea of a Constitution that is still being perfected but is ever more inclusive is something that will drive me. It's a tremendous honor that I have this job and this huge responsibility."

She may have attended Sundance, but she isn't doing media interviews for the film because of Supreme Court ethics rules prohibiting a justice from directly promoting a commercial property.

RBG opens Friday in 34 theaters in 10 markets across the country, including Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles.

"She's an incredible inspiration to people, and it was a brilliant move by Magnolia to find a way to release RBG as quickly as possible after Sundance," says David Linde, CEO of Participant. "People are looking for inspirational messages about what they can do in difficult times."

Participant Media is squarely in the Ruth Bader Ginsburg business these days: This fall, Focus Features and Participant release the feature On the Basis of Sex in which Felicity Jones plays the young Ginsburg. Mimi Leder directed the movie, which begins its limited run in theaters on Nov. 9, the heart of awards season. Ginsburg's nephew, Daniel Stiepleman, wrote the film.

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