Cinema Theatre

Venue

History

The Cinema Theatre was part of Louis K. Sher's Art Theater Guild, a national theater chain with 29 locations. Sher hired his young nephew, Mike Getz to manage the theater. In 1963 Getz began collaborating with John Fles, a local experimental curator to develop Movies 'Round Midnight, a late night experimental series featuring works from the 'New American Cinema.' In addition to its experimental screenings, the Cinema Theatre also served as a primary venue for the exhibition of independent, art and foreign cinema. In 1964 a planned screening of local filmmaker Kenneth Anger's SCORPIO RISING led to a vice squad's seizing the film and Getz being charged with the exhibition of obscene materials. In 1965 John Fles left Los Angeles and Getz became the primary curator of the venue's underground screenings and changed the name of the series to 'Underground Cinema 12.' This series spread throughout the chain with multiple venues hosting 'Underground Cinema 12' screenings on Saturdays. Getz's combination of pulp, comedy, abstraction and erotica played a formative role in the development of the United States' vibrant Midnight Movie culture. However, by the 1970s the Cinema Theatre had shifted to exclusively exhibiting pornography before eventually closing its doors entirely.

Screening Venues

1122 N. Western Ave. Los Angeles

People

Exhibitions and Screening