A Peek Inside the Microcinema


Last week, the Free State Festival launched the first in the Microcinema Series with a full house at the Lawrence Arts Center’s 10th & Mass Studios for Food for the Rest of Us. The gripping documentary about food as activism had audiences riveted in this intimate pop up cinema space just around the corner from the Arts Center’s main 300 seat theatre. With a capacity limit of just 60 audience members, viewers sit by shared candlelit tables in a non-traditional cabaret style atmosphere, enjoy drinks before the show and stay for post-screening discussions.

Friday night’s opening event was made possible through a partnership with Just Food and concluded with a thought-provoking panel with Robert Hicks Jr. from the Indigenous Community Center and Connie Fiorella Fitzpatrick from Douglas County. The discussion was expertly moderated by Cody Haynes to highlight the important work of local BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ food advocates. High ceilings, exposed brick, and the occasional ambient sound from the Replay Lounge provided a fun urban backdrop for this shared art experience. We hope that communities continue to feel connected to one another at the microcinema and stay engaged with interactive elements such as color coded audience reactions.

October will be a busy month for the new venue with these events coming up next:

  •  A Short Tale and a Mocktail: Body Paragraphs on October 7 featuring a screening, non-alcoholic beverage selection from 715, live music by Jade and a conversation with filmmaker Erika Lobati + City Commissioner Amber Sellers
  • A screening of Harold and Maude on October 21 with live music by Danny Pound & ginger pie at the concession stand
  • A revisionist experience of Sixteen Candles on October 26 with snarky commentary from The Willow Domestic Violence Center.

Reserve your tickets now or join the Free State Film Society for free and discounted tickets throughout the year!

For further background on the history and significance of microcinemas throughout the pandemic, check out this article from Criterion.

“Though the term ‘microcinema’ has been applied since the 1990s to describe local DIY spaces or series curated with an idiosyncratic mix of programming, the word has always had too clinical a ring for such spaces and their cozy, communal, handmade, human feel… Seeing a movie has felt, in the best way, like crowding into someone’s living room to watch something together.”

– Nicholas Rapold, Criterion