Mini theater

(Redirected from Microcinema)

A mini theater (Japanese: ミニシアター, Hepburn: mini shiatā), mini cineplex (Bengali: মিনি সিনেপ্লেক্স),[1] or microcinema is a type of independent movie theater that is not under the direct influence of any major film companies. Mini theaters are characterized by their relatively smaller size and seating capacity compared to larger, non-independent movie theaters, as well as their programming, which typically includes independent or arthouse films.[2]

Cinema Skhole [ja], a mini theater in Nagoya, Japan
The auditorium of a mini theater in Hiroshima

Mini theaters can be found worldwide,[3] and are particularly known in Japan, where they have existed since the 1970s.

Le Studio, a micro-cinema in Bastia, Corsica.



In Japan


Origins and rise in popularity


In 1974, a film distribution project known as Equipe de Cinema was instituted at Iwanami Hall [ja], a venue constructed by Iwanami Shoten, in Tokyo, Japan.[2] Iwanami Hall, which was originally used as a multipurpose hall, became one of the first mini theaters, able to seat 220 people.[4] The project was headed by Etsuko Tanakno, general manager of Iwanami Hall, and film producer Kashiko Kawakita, who sought to screen films deemed inappropriate for wide distribution.[2]

Mini theaters were popularized throughout Japan in the 1980s.[2] During that decade, mini theaters often screened European independent and arthouse films, such as films produced during the French New Wave, as well as films originating from Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria.[2] Mini theaters also screened independent films produced in Japan by relatively unknown Japanese filmmakers.[2] The popularity of mini theaters continued into the 1990s,[5] and some mini-theater operators, such as Theatre Shinjuku and Eurospace, began investing in film production.[6]

In the 21st century


Several mini theaters in the Tokyo metropolitan area were closed during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Mini theater Cine Vivant ceased operations in 1999, and Cine Saison and Ginza Theatre Cinema closed in 2011 and 2013, respectively.[2] On April 7, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Japanese government to declare a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures,[7] resulting in the closure of movie theaters nationwide.[8] Consequently, mini theaters have suffered significant drops in revenue.[9]

In response to the negative financial impact of the pandemic on mini theaters, Japanese filmmakers organized movements to help support them.[8][10] Directors Kōji Fukada and Ryūsuke Hamaguchi launched a crowdfunding campaign to assist mini theaters; the campaign amassed over 100 million yen in donations in three days.[10][11][12][13]

In Bangladesh


In Bangladesh, there are several mini theaters and micro theaters. The first mini single screen movie theater is Momo Inn Cinema, which is situated in Momo Inn Hotel and Resort, Nawdapara, Bogura. It was established in 2018 as a part of the resort.[14] This theater has only 54 seats.[15] The first mini cineplex of the country was established in July, 2018 in Nasirabad, Chittagong, named Silver Screen. This mini multiplex has 95 seat capacity combining two screens, Platinum, a mini theater and Titanium, a micro theater.[16] The first micro single screen movie theater is CineScope, which was established in September 20, 2019, in Narayanganj.[17] This government-sponsored micro cinema has only 35 seats. Another micro cinema is Roots Cineclub, situated in Sirajganj, opened on October 22, 2021. This is also a single screen micro theater, which has only 22 seats.[1] The Chittagong City Corporation authority announced to establish another micro cinema in Chittagong on December 5, 2020.[18]

In the Philippines


In June 2021, a microcinema and café known as the Cinema '76 Café opened in Quezon City.[19]

In the United Kingdom


In September 2020, the Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer Oppo Mobile opened a pop-up microcinema in the South Bank of London, England.[20]

In the United States


The term "microcinema" was coined in 1994 by Rebecca Barten and David Sherman, operators of the Total Mobile Home MicroCINEMA in San Francisco, and was subsequently used to describe a global movement of new, DIY-style small cinemas.[21] Notable American microcinemas include Spectacle Theater, Light Industry, UnionDocs, and the Luminal Theater in New York as well as Other Cinema and the Acropolis Cinema in California.[22]

In Charlotte, North Carolina, the video rental store VisArt Video has a microcinema that can be rented for private screenings.[23] In October 2022, the 38-seat Screen Door Microcinema opened in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida, as the first official microcinema in Tampa.[24][25] In March 2022, Tallgrass Film Association launched their microcinema in downtown Wichita, Kansas.

See also



  1. ^ a b Ahmed Zaman Shimul (May 5, 2022). "সিনেমা ব্যবসার নতুন সম্ভাবনা মিনি সিনেপ্লেক্স". (in Bengali). Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Masuda, Miki (June 10, 2015). "The Advent of "Mini Theater": The Diversification of International Films in Japan and a New Kind of Film Ephemera". Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  3. ^ Rapold, Nicolas (January 13, 2021). "Long Live the Microcinema". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved November 18, 2023.
  4. ^ Nishimura, Kunio, ed. (1997). "Iwanami Hall seats 220 and was one of the first 'mini theaters' in Japan..." Look Japan. Vol. 43. Look Japan, Ltd. p. 10. ISSN 0456-5339. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  5. ^ "ミニシアターが日本映画界に与えてきた影響を考える "世界の多様さ"を教えてくれる存在を失わないために". Yahoo! Japan. April 16, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  6. ^ Schilling, Mark (1999). Contemporary Japanese Film. Weatherhill. p. 9. ISBN 978-0834804159.
  7. ^ "Japan PM Abe declares nationwide state of emergency amid virus spread". Mainichi Shimbun. April 16, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  8. ^ a b "【国内映画ランキング】7都府県ほぼ全ての映画館が休業、小規模映画館を支援する動きなどがスタート" [【Domestic Movie Rankings】 Almost all movie theaters in 7 prefectures are closed, and movements to support small-scale movie theaters have started]. April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  9. ^ Schilling, Mark (April 16, 2020). "The race to save Japan's independent cinemas". The Japan Times. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  10. ^ a b "ミニシアター支援、3日間で1億円達成 文化芸術活動では日本初". Yahoo! Japan. Oricon News. April 16, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  11. ^ "ミニシアター・エイド基金、開始24時間で5,500万円突破!" [Mini Theater Aid Fund exceeds 55 million yen in 24 hours!]. Cinema Today. April 14, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  12. ^ "ミニシアター支援、1億円突破 国内最速、3日で1万人以上". Yahoo! Japan. Kyodo News. April 16, 2020. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  13. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (April 17, 2020). "Japanese Filmmakers Launch Campaigns to Save Tokyo's Indie Cinemas". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 28, 2020.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Kutub, Ahmed (December 5, 2020). "আগ্রাবাদে আধুনিক মিনি সিনেপ্লেক্স". Samakal (in Bengali). Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  19. ^ Malasig, Jeline (June 8, 2021). "Brewing soon: Microcinema opens cafe while movie houses remain closed in Metro Manila". Interaksyon. Retrieved November 18, 2023.
  20. ^ Douglas, Fayola (September 4, 2020). "Oppo Mobile opens pop-up microcinema on London's Southbank". Campaign. Retrieved November 18, 2023.
  21. ^ Harmanci, Reyhan (November 18, 2010). "Alternative Film Examined in 'Radical Light'". New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2024.
  22. ^ Rapold, Nicolas (January 13, 2021). "Long Live the Microcinema". The Criterion Channel. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  23. ^ Escobar, Estephany (June 6, 2021). "Film and video archive offers private movie experience". Spectrum News 1 North Carolina. Retrieved November 18, 2023.
  24. ^ Sherbet, Jessi (December 22, 2022). "Step inside Screen Door Microcinema, a new hidden gem of Ybor City". Creative Loafing. Retrieved November 18, 2023.
  25. ^ Daly, Sean (January 23, 2023). "The new Screen Door Microcinema in Ybor City is a movie buff's dream theater". ABC Action News. Retrieved November 18, 2023.