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Amazon's Prime Video Cinema hub to corral new theater releases

You can't go to the movies, so the movies will come to you.

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Amazon's Prime Video Cinema offers current theater releases available to stream at home.

Steven Musil screenshot/CNET

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and force movie theaters to shut down, Amazon has launched a new hub featuring movies that Hollywood hoped you'd be watching right now in the theater. Amazon's Prime Video Cinema allows you to rent or buy recently released movies through the streaming service.

Movies currently offered through the hub include Onward, The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma, although Onward is only available at the $18.49 purchase price, while the others are only available for rental at that same reduced price. They'll be available to rent for 48 hours.

Birds of Prey and The Way Back will be added on Tuesday, as well as Bloodshot.

NBCUniversal said Tuesday it would make movies available to rent online in the home the same day as their global theatrical releases due to the coronavirus outbreak. Other streaming services such as iTunes and Google Play also offer the titles for streaming purchase and rental.

This is the first time a major Hollywood studio has made a break from the traditional movie release cycle. Movies usually spend upward of six months in theaters before they move on to predetermined dates for release on other formats, such digital downloads and rentals, DVDs and, later, TV and streaming.

Read more: Watch The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma at home  

As theaters close and coronavirus preventive measures keep people out cinema seats, studios have mostly decided to postpone the release of new movies such as No Time to DieMulanF9 and A Quiet Place Part 2.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to say how long the service would be available.

CNET's Joan E. Solsman contributed to this report.