Originally opened in what the owner called a micro-cinema sanctuary inside of a former church that was built in 1924, the Aurora Picture Show is more than just a theater; it’s an organization. A successful local arts organization dedicated to “expanding the cinematic experience and promoting the understanding and appreciation of moving image art,” according to the organization’s website.
In 2010, Andrea Grover, a home theater specialist, left the original site where the well-known arts organization was founded more than a decade earlier (1998). For the years that Grover operated the organization out of that site, she showed a range of obscure and not-so-obscure film screenings and hosted other events, including 13 wedding receptions and a handful of memorial services. Grover’s family used to live on-site.
Now that the organization has grown, the Aurora Picture Show is housed near the Menil Collection. The new home for the organization includes the Aurora Video Library and the Aurora Video Salons. Since 2009, Grover has used the organization’s name and reach to host screenings and events in unique settings and alternative spaces all over the city of Houston.
“Aurora has distinguished itself as a home for vanguard work that falls outside of conventional moviemaking and traditionally has fewer exhibition outlets,” according to the organization’s official website. “Our screenings are known for being memorable and not-to-be-missed as they are not often repeated and are difficult to duplicate.” The Aurora Picture Show is a member of the Fresh Arts Coalition.
Currently, the original church space is home to 14 Pews, a micro-cinema founded by filmmaker Cressandra Thibodeaux.