About Us

Shapeshifters Cinema is an experimental microcinema located in Oakland, CA. Our mission is to provide a venue and support for contemporary artists working with experimental and artist-made film, video, sound, music and other types of mediated performance. In addition to regular, live events, we offer workshops on experimental moving image and sound production and a storefront shop specializing in print publications, sound recordings and other artist-made media. 

Staff

Gilbert Guerrero - Co-director
Kathleen Quillian - Co-director
Ellie Vanderlip - Workshop Coordinator/Administration Assistant


Address

567 5th Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Shapeshifters Cinema sits on the historic territory of Huichin, the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo Muwekma Ohlone, successors of the sovereign Verona Band of Alameda County.

Our building is wheelchair-accessible and has one wheelchair-accessible bathroom.

Hours

Show nights only, currently. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, unless otherwise noted. Masks are required for entry.

Show Your Support

Make a donation to support Shapeshifters Cinema


Donations are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, San Francisco Cinematheque, a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Cinema

Current and Upcoming Programs & Events

The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda

An Evening of Expanded Cinema
as part of the exhibition series Drop: A Psychedelic Exploration
UMA Gallery
Mosswood Chapel
3630 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
Thursday, June 9, 2022
8PM
Admission: $12 advance / $15 at the door (note: Brown Paper Tickets also charges a service fee)
Purchase tickets now

Program changes: Due to unforseen circumstances, Andy Puls is unable to join us for this event. We have added two more films to the line-up. Please see below for details.

As part of the exhibition series Drop: A Psychedelic Exploration, hosted by UMA Gallery at Mosswood Chapel, Shapeshifters Cinema will be presenting a short program of film and performance that aims to open the door to psychic exploration and universal consciousness. The program will begin with a rare screening of Ira Cohen’s restored film The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda (1968) that captures the height of the psychedelic era with costumed characters performing altered-state rituals while floating in a sea of mylar reflections. Followed by Pat O'Neill's 7362 (1965-67), shown on 16mm film, shows a bilaterally symmetrical fusion of human, biomorphic and mechanical shapes in motion. Oakland’s own Church of Color and Light will perform Apollo's Lore, a reflection on the nuances of solitude during the pandemic and the mythical Apollo, who is both the cause and cure of plagues. Follwed by Coni Beeson's Firefly (1974), also shown on 16mm, a short expressive dance film featuring a young Carrie Mae Weems. Closing the evening, Ben Russell’s Trypps #7 (Badlands) (2010) invites the audience on an intimate psychedelic journey to explore the romantic sublime, phenomenological experience, and secular spiritualism. The 16mm film prints were provided by Canyon Cinema. Note: This program takes place at Mosswood Chapel, 3630 Telegraph Ave., Oakland

For more about Drop, including other events in the series, visit: https://www.umagalleryoakland.com/events


About Our Cinema

Our intimate, 40-seat cinema is able to host a range of performances and events by contemporary artists working in film, video, sound, music, multimedia and performance. Along with screenings and performances, you will also find workshops, salons, artist talks and lectures. Our focus is primarily on experimental and artist-made.

Archive

View Past Programs

Rentals

Our venue is available to rent for private events.
More about rentals

Workshops

We are working on planning more great workshops for you. Sign up on our mailing list and be the first to know about them!


About Our Workshops

Our workshops emphasize a DIY approach to art-making. Each one is taught by a different guest artist who shares practical, hands-on lessons in a variety of media and creative practices using materials and resources you probably already have, or are otherwise easy to acquire. Learn something new or enhance your own established art practice. Everyone is welcome!

Archive

View Past Workshops

Shop

Shapeshifters' store is now open for business (on-line only, currently)! Our store features an eclectic range of DVDs, books, CDs and other artist-made items. Browse the selection here

Browse the full selection


Suki O'Kane 2020

Suki O'Kane, August 16 2020, at Shapeshifters Cinema

John Davis 2020

John Davis, September 20, 2020, at Shapeshifters Cinema

Killer Banshee 2020

Killer Banshee, September 13, 2020, at Shapeshifters Cinema

Ether Ship 2020

Ether Ship, January 11, 2020 at Shapeshifters Cinema

elena-pardo-2019-2048w

Elena Pardo, December 6, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema

lynne-sachs-2019-2048w

Lynne Sachs, November 10, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema

minoosh-zomorodinia-2019-2048w

Minoosh Zomorodinia, October 13, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema

jeremy-rourke-2019

Jeremy Rourke, September 20, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema



Connect

Announcements

Shapeshifters In the News

KQED article

In the wake of SFMOMA's announcement to cut its historically-significant and beloved film program, KQED journalist Sarah Hotchkiss wrote a great article looking at how this affects the over-all ecology of the Bay Area film culture and the film programs and microcinemas (including Shapeshifters) that continue to cultivate it. Read the article here.

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Jack London Improvement District awards funds to Shapeshifters for our merch expansion!
Due to restrictions brought on by the global pandemic and for the safety of our community, we shut down for over a year... but we did not stop! In addition to livestreaming artists' work and hosting artist-led workshops, we opened a retail shop online. We are expanding and building out a shop at our venue with the help of funds provided by the Jack London Improvement District (BID). The funds will go towards building a wall of shelves and stocking up on artists books, records, DVDS, CDs, unique works of art, and handmade goods. Check out the announcement and the full list of award winners.

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Shapeshifters receives an Oakland CARES grant!
We are very grateful to have received a grant through the Oakland CARES Fund for Artists and Arts Non-Profits, made possible by the city of Oakland Economic & Workforce Development Department, Cultural Affairs Division and administered by Center for Cultural Innovation. These funds ensure that we can continue our (modified) operations during these challenging and uncertain times.

Thank you to all of our donors & funders
We rely on individual donations to support artists and operate our cinema. We are immensely grateful for their contributions. View the list of donors


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