Underground Film Journal

Feature Article

January 20, 2019

Underground Cinema 12: Origin & August-September 1970

Movie poster for midnight screenings of underground films in Ohio in August and September 1970

Beginning in the early 1960s, one of the main venues where audiences could watch underground films outside of New York City was the midnight movie screening series called Underground Cinema 12.

The origins of Underground Cinema 12 were related by one of its founders, Mike Getz, to the Alternative Projections historical project. Getz was the manager of the Cinema Theater in Hollywood, California when he was approached by John Fles, who had been holding alternative cinema screenings around Los Angeles, such as in the Jewish and Ukrainian cultural centers.

Fles had the idea to run a regular midnight movie screening series in an actual movie theater, which Getz quickly agreed to host. The Cinema Theater typically ran foreign films and independent cinema, so screening underground films at midnight seemed like a good match. Initially, the series was called Movies 'Round Midnight and it premiered on Columbus Day 1963 with a screening of Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures, Gregory Markopoulos's Twice a Man, and a chapter of Stan Brakhage's Dog Star Man.

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Online Cinema

January 21, 2019

Featured Streaming

Burning Inside

Wide thumbnail image for Burning Inside

An amnesiac man wakes from a coma, shacks up with his kindly nurse and tries to piece together his tortured past — all the while never uttering a single word.

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