After over three years at its current Main Street location, The Mini Microcinema announced in a press release that it will be closing at the end of December. Despite the loss of a permanent home, The Mini will still exist as an organization.
C. Jacqueline Wood first opened The Mini Microcinema in 2015 through a $15,000 Globe Grant from People's Liberty. Then housed in the organization's Globefront space across from Findlay Market, it later morphed into an exhibition at Covington's The Carnegie before finding a permanent home in Over-the-Rhine at 1329 Main St.
Since its inception, The Mini has championed independent and local film, providing a space for filmmakers working outside of the mainstream to show their work.
"Change is a good thing," the release reads. "We are excited to celebrate how far we have come, and look forward to an exciting future. At the end of December, we will have held more than 391 screenings in our 4+ year history. Pretty good for a scrappy volunteer-run organization!"
The release notes that, though the exact timetable is not yet known, they hope to open a new film cooperative in the near future, just in a different location.
"We have A LOT to figure out, with no exact timeline, but The Mini team, board and close collaborators are actively strategizing next steps," the release continues.
As the year comes to a close, patrons can look forward to 24 more opportunities to catch a screening in The Mini's current location. That includes the remaining three films in The Mini's anniversary series — a fundraiser that began at the start of 2019 and marked The Mini's first ticketed screenings — which has celebrated a different film's anniversary each month.
Also in the mix are open screenings (think open mic nights but with movies), flicks for the kiddos, a book-to-movie discussion club aptly named "Adaptation" and a slew of experimental and undercurrent works.
The final curtain of The Mini's current chapter closes with a holiday celebration 7-10 p.m. on Dec. 19. Before then, below are a few highlights of the cinema's remaining lineup. All screenings (apart from the ticketed anniversary films) are free with a suggested donation of $5. For the full schedule, visit mini-cinema.org.
- Academy Award nominee Bert Van Bork will get the spotlight on Sept. 19 with Exploring the Restless Earth: Bert Van Bork and the Academic Film. Curated by Adam Williams, the show starts at 7:30 p.m. and examines four of Van Bork's educational shorts shot for Encyclopedia Britannica in 16mm film.
- Local filmmaker Biz Young will present bombASSbabes, a mix of short films that spotlight creative womxn in Cincinnati, on Sept. 24. Doors open at 7 p.m.
- In partnership with downtown's Mercantile Library, Adaptation, a recently-formed book club that discusses books and their movie counterparts, will gather to discuss Koji Suzuki's Ring. First gathering at The Merc from 6-7 p.m. on Oct. 22 to discuss the book, the second half of the event will take place at The Mini on Oct. 29, where the film Ringu will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Discussions will be facilitated by Mini volunteers Lillian Currens and Michael Sweeny. The cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Tickets may be purchased in advance at mercantilelibrary.com or at the door.
- On Oct. 24, The Mini's anniversary series gets spooky with a double feature of William Castle Doors' horror classics, starting with House on Haunted Hill and closing with The Tingler. Both released in 1959, the spooks start at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
- The scares keep coming Halloween night with The Descent at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Neil Marshall, the 99-minute 2005 flick is backed by an all-female cast. A group of women decide to take a trip to North Carolina and explore caves there, but they soon find out they are not alone — and whatever lurks in the shadows might just have a taste for human flesh. Doors open at 7 p.m.
- Wes Anderson's whimsical claymation caper Fantastic Mr. Fox celebrates 10 years as part of The Mini's anniversary series with a screening at 5 p.m. on Nov. 9. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
- Co-presented by the Cincinnati Art Museum, experimental shorts — Pati, Sweet Life and The Lost Head and The Bird — by contemporary Indian photographer Sohrab Hura will be given rare screenings. His black-and-white photographs recently found a home at CAM; the shorts reflect on life in a rural Indian village, Hura's relationship with his mother and the complicated sociopolitical landscape of modern-day India, respectively. Catch it Nov. 19 with the works starting at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
- Animalia 2: Cats and Birds and Bears - Oh My!, a collection of animated shorts about animals — Mickey Mouse and beyond — will unfold Dec. 12 starting at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.
- The last of the anniversary series screenings of the year is also the oldest. Carol Reed's The Third Man from 1949 is a mysterious tale of love, deception... and murder. It celebrates 70 years on Dec. 15. The screening starts at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.