In this Jan. 27, 2020 file photo, Ethan Hawke attends a premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. In a new video filmed from Rome, Hawke is urging people to support the Coolidge Corner Theatre, a Brookline, Mass. independent movie house, which has suffered financially under pandemic-era restrictions and shutdowns. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, file)

BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — 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.

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.