A movie theater used a personal Amazon Prime account to stream a film for paying customers, according to a video posted on TikTok by someone in the audience.

The footage comes as movie theaters struggle to attract customers after the first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 closed locations nationwide.

In a video posted last week by user @rachel.m00re, moviegoers watch as an employee scrolls through Amazon Prime offerings on what appears to be an Amazon Fire TV app at an unidentified cinema somewhere in the US. 

The employee searches for the letter ‘T’ before clicking on a suggestion for ‘Illumination Presents: Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.’ 

But the screen then flashes a ‘Maximum Videos Playing’ warning, asking the user to stop playing another video in order to stream that one. Rachel said the issue was ultimately resolved 35 minutes later, during a discount screening where tickets cost $2-a-piece. She said the audience were good-natured about the delay. 

It is unclear where the incident happened or if the theater is allowed to stream movies from Amazon to paying customers. Amazon only usually permits users to stream content in private locations. 

Amazon and TikTok user @rachel.m00re did not immediately respond to requests for comment from DailyMail.com. 

TikTok by @rachel.m00re

TikTok by @rachel.m00re

A TikTok posted last week by @rachel.m00re shows a movie theater employee pulling up Amazon Prime to queue up a film for a paying audience

A warning sign said that the theater's account was streaming too many titles at once

 A warning sign said that the theater’s account was streaming too many titles at once

Theaters have had trouble bouncing back to their former glory after the pandemic slammed the film industry in 2020. 

In October, AMC – the biggest theater chain on US soil – recorded a $224.2 million net loss, or 44 cents per share, on 763.2 million in revenue, according to the Hollywood Reporter

A year earlier, the company had reported a staggering loss of $8.41 per share on an overall third-quarter revenue of $119.5 million. 

Revenue rose to $425.1 million in the latest quarter against $62.9 million a year earlier. Food and beverage sales also went up to $265.2 million compared to $29 million during the same time last year.

Spiderman: No Way Home recently became the first movie to make more than $1 billion at the box office since COVID, giving movie chain bosses a glimmer of hope for the future.  

‘We are also encouraged by the results from the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2021. Indeed, as we announced just a week ago, our October theatre admissions revenues were the highest of any month since before the global pandemic forced the closure of our cinemas more than a year and a half ago. That is just one more good sign among many we have seen in 2021,’ AMC president and CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. 

In last week’s TikTok, a person can be heard saying: ‘We’re gonna be watching this on an old app? Are you kidding me? Wow, man.’

The employee in the projection room clicks over to ‘Watch from Beginning,’ meaning the film had already been streamed on the platform. 

‘They already started it, they gotta watch it over again,’ the audience member says, laughing. 

AMC's CEO said last month he was 'encouraged by the results from the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2021' as ticket sales rebound after the pandemic. Above, an AMC in NYC in 2020

AMC’s CEO said last month he was ‘encouraged by the results from the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2021’ as ticket sales rebound after the pandemic. Above, an AMC in NYC in 2020

The screen starts to buffer before it’s interrupted by the message warning that too many titles are being streamed at once.

The crowd laughs and groans.

‘I felt so bad for the workers,’ the person who posted the TikTok said in the comments. ‘It took them 35 min to figure it out, I’m sure they were panicked.’

She added that she didn’t mind it was streamed, but that she ‘expected a DVD or something.’ She also said it happened during ‘$2 movie day’ and that the theater eventually rented a 4K version of the film for $4.

Some commenters pinned the blame on the moviegoers.

‘I mean if you are going to a theatre to see an old movie then that’s a waste of money,’ one person said. ‘You can watch it at home and your local theatre is smart lol.’

Another person added: ‘I don’t see the issue… if youre going to the theatre for an old movie, youre just going for the experience at that point.’

Other commenters took issue with the use of the streaming service.

‘Oh no. There’s no way that’s legal,’ one person said. Another one joked, ‘That prime account on life support.’ 

There are some signs that movie theaters are on the upswing. Spider Man: No Way Home recently broke the $1 billion box office margin, making $467 million in the US alone.

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