Cinemas have served as cultural hubs and community gathering places for 120 years. There are more types of cinema produced today than ever. But since independent film venues are rare in rural areas of the United States, much of the greatest cinema — past and present — isn't seen in small towns.
Across the rural landscape, however, there are film exhibitors who believe that independent cinema can have a role in small town life. Some rural film exhibitors start alternative art spaces called microcinemas. Others organize small town film societies. A few take traveling cinemas to backroads throughout the country. They program repertory cinema, documentaries, amateur features, and experimental work.
SMALLSCREEN is dedicated to mapping these venues — venues that expand the range of cinema available to rural audiences, build community around electronic art and film, and encourage film culture outside the city.
SMALLSCREEN welcomes information, links, and articles from rural microcinema owners, film society and festival directors, and filmmakers. In the process of mapping, we will be compiling and creating resources that are aimed at providing future rural cinema organizers a guide. There isn’t an online listing of rural microcinemas or an association for rural film societies in the United States. But, with any luck, this mapping project will be a seed. This is an evolutionary project. We are willing to expand and redirect it as more people offer their thoughts and expertise.
To find out more about cinema outside the city, check out the SMALLSCREEN project blog.
"cult cinema" - the picture above - is licensed CC 2.0 by Bob May
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