Our film screenings highlight underground, avant-garde and independent cinema. When we can, we host the filmmaker for an introduction and post screening Q&A. We have shown thousands of films ranging from structural classics like Tony Conrad's "The Flicker" on 16mm, to music films such as Bjork's "Biophilia Live" and Sigur Ros' "Heima". We strive to bring classic films to be screened on 16mm but also new films by emerging independent filmmakers.

SICKIES MAKING FILMS A Documentary Film by Joe Tropea

sickies making films paintingDATE: Sunday, July 22nd 2018 @ 8:00PM

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

Admission: $5

A Documentary Film by Joe Tropea

Sickies Making Films looks at our urge to censor films and asks why? We find reasons both absurd and surprisingly understandable. Using the Maryland Board of Censors (1916-1981) as a lens, as well as archival materials, classic film segments, and interviews with filmmakers and exhibitors who were subjected to censorship, this documentary examines the recurring problem of censorship in America.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/248929265

sickies AvaraAtHerDesk


dontbreakdown poster web 01DATE: Wednesday November 1st, 2017 @ 7pm

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

Cost: $5

One screening only of the new doc:
"Don’t Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker"

"When I REALLY FELT LIKE Punk was dead Then I REALIZED it was A GOOD time to BE A PART OF IT"

In 2007, 11 years after one of the most influential American punk bands, Jawbreaker, called it quits the three members, Blake Schwarzenbach, Chris Bauermeister, and Adam Pfahler reconnected in a San Francisco recording studio to listen back to their albums, reminisce and even perform together. Follow the band as they retell their “rags to riches to rags” story writhe with inner band turmoil, health issues, and the aftermath of signing to a major label. Featuring interviews with Billy Joe Armstrong, Steve Albini, Jessica Hopper, Graham Elliot, Chris Shifflet, Josh Caterer and more.





Animator/Filmmaker, Martha Colburn, IN-PERSON

marthaanimation1DATE: Tuesday October 17th, 2017 @ 7pm

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

Cost: $5

"Martha Colburn was born in 1971 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, formerly lived and worked in New York, and currently lives between Amsterdam and Lisbon.

Colburn began working with film in the ’90s when she acquired a used projector and began splicing found footage into her works. Now, she works for years on a single project, and her films result from intensive research and meticulously rendered stop-motion animations that include photography, collage, and painting.

The artist’s vibrant imagery can belie the seriousness of the themes she addresses, which include America’s history of war and violence, and crystal-meth addiction in rural areas. While her work is viewed in both film and art contexts, she has said that the individual films are secondary to the ideas and images behind her work." -Art21

Artist's Website:

ART21 Portraits of Martha:




Excerpt from her film with JAD FAIR Of Half Japanese, shot on super-8 OVER 20 years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ8FmyDnlDg


Stephen Broomer's Potamkin on 16mm

Potamkin 01DATE: November 26th 2017 @ 7pm

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

Cost: $5

Potamkin (2017), 67 minutes

 In 1933, at age 33, Harry Alan Potamkin died of complications related to starvation, at a time when he was one of the world's most respected film critics. In his writings, he advocated for a cinema that would simultaneously embrace the fractures and polyphony of modern life and the equitable social vision of left radical politics. This film-biography is assembled out of distorted fragments of films on which he had written, an impression of erupting consciousness.
At the Odessa steps, trampling gives breath to the child. The bullet miraculously reforms the face. The Cossacks march backwards, retreating unseen into their nothing, the unfired rounds of their rifles restored to their menacing potential. Feet tread backward up the steps as the steps themselves collapse in splintering emulsion. The carriage is set upright.

Bio: Stephen Broomer is a filmmaker and film preservationist. His work has screened at the Toronto Film Festival, the New York Festival, and the San Francisco Cinematheque. Since 2010, he has preserved many Canadian experimental films, including films by R. Bruce Elder, John Hofsess, Arthur Lipsett, and Keith Lock.

Stills: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nd7sd9trdvtwust/AABi8CgaJ1kfLUUemz-0PzQKa?dl=0

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/205609042


The Lanthanide Series - Filmmaker Erin Espelie in Person

Lanthanide MtnPassMineDATE: October 2nd, 2017 @ 9:00pm


The Lanthanide Series is an experimental documentary about rare earth elements (the lanthanides), black mirrors (from obsidian to iPads), and how technology is reshaping the way we record the present and replay the past. From the portals of personal computing devices to ancient obsidian mirrors, optical tools control how people see, foresee, record, and remember their lives. The Lanthanide Series meditates on how we frame and understand the world through such material means and instruments, with a reliance on certain chemical elements and the people who we love.

"Part poetry, part chemistry lesson, part landscape film, part cinematic exploration, part history and geography lesson, part environmental revelation ,part magic. The Lanthanide Series is something new under the sun." – Scott MacDonald

"The Lanthanide Series fuses poetry and science to create a thrillingly uncategorizable work." – Anthology Film Archives

The screening is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Film & Media Studies program at Franklin & Marshall College and Moviate.

About the filmmaker:

Erin Espelie '01 has a degree in molecular and cell biology from Cornell University and an MFA in experimental and documentary arts from Duke University. Her films have shown at the New York Film Festival, the British Film Institute, the Natural History Museum of London, and the Rotterdam and Edinburgh International Film Festivals among others. She holds a joint appointment at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Film Studies Program & the Department of Critical Media Practices.

Erin Espelie will be at the screening to present and discuss the film.

Filmmaker website: https://www.erinespelie.com/
Film website: https://erinespelie.com/cinema/lanthanide-series

Filmmaker Kathleen Rugh In-Person - 16mm Film Program

East West and East Again 1 1600pxDATE: Sunday September 24th, 2017 @ 7pm

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

Cost $5


Filmmaker Kathleen Rugh, in-person, comes to Moviate to present a collection of her lyrical 16mm films created over the last nine years. Her films find awe with views of the everyday through enchanting light, unexpected portrayals of dimension, and lens distortions that show how the camera can alter the reality of a space. There emerges a sense of wonderment with how we see the world and the imagery becomes an experience of a space rather than a straight representation.

Here’s a clip from Rugh’s latest film “East, West, and East Again”, which compares the beaches of New York City and those outside of Los Angeles. At moments the two opposing coasts are sliced together through in-camera edits and double exposures.

Trailer link - https://vimeo.com/220251654


Kathleen Rugh is a filmmaker and photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Her films have screened throughout the US and internationally, including the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Images Festival, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Antimatter [Media Art], EXiS Experimental Film Festival, and the Athens International Film and Video Festival. She has received funding for her films through the New York State Council on the Arts and teaches filmmaking at The New School in New York City.


Kathleen (Kathy) Rugh


NEWS . Thanks to a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts' and the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes my latest film "East, West, and East Again" is ...

THE FILMS OF MIKE KUCHAR - In Person Movie Event

MikeKucharDATE: Wednesday Sepember 13, 2017 @ 7pm

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

MIKE KUCHAR - IN PERSON SCREENING IN HARRISBURG Wednesday September 13, 2017 The Midtown Cinema (Harrisburg, PA) Admission = $5 Starts at 7pm Short Film Program of all new works with Introduction and Q&A with Mike Kuchar. Mike will be coming all the way from San Francisco to share his new work with Pennsylvania audiences.

Ticket Link:

"George and Mike Kuchar's films were my first inspiration - these were the pivotal films of my youth, bigger influences than Warhol, Kenneth Anger, even The Wizard of Oz."

- John Waters

Moviate has had the priviledge and honor to host in-person shows with the legendary filmmaker for over 10 years now. It's a rare appearance, as Mike usually only does a few shows on the east coast per year, traveling from California to share his newest works.

If you haven't seen his films, check out this doc about he and his brothers' influence on underground and independent filmmaking.


His pictures are sincere, stunning, at times funny and deeply poetic.

Don't miss Mike this year, as we are sure his new works will please the crowd.

The Nightmare Films of Ted Knighton W/ In Person Introduction and Q&A with Ted Knighton

TedKnightonDATE: Sunday 8/27/17 @ 7pm

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

Admission = $5

Twisted Cinema In The Tradition of Dali and Bunuel

Come join us for a very special screening of the films of Ted Knighton at The Midtown Cinema. Introduction and Q&A with Ted Knighton. Lots of fun and a rare opportunity to see Ted present his work in our community.

The most acclaimed and shocking films ever to emerge from the Philadelphia underground! Award-winning creative artist and filmmaker Ted Knighton has produced a series of extremely disturbing short films that transform the commonplace into indelible images of horror. Knighton's productions have shaken up underground filmmaking in Philadelphia for over 30 years.

"I think it's good to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. We get used to the world around us and it's easy to stop seeing how amazing, strange and fascinating it all is. Through art and film, I like to move the furniture of life around a little bit so that we see the room again."




The Moon and the Sledgehammer (1971) A Film By Philip Trevelyan

moonsledgehammerDATE: Sunday 7/23/17 at 7pm

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

Admission = $5

One Night Only Documentary Film Screening

Come and join us for this rare opportunity to see this astonishing 1971 documentary on the big screen! We are very happy and lucky to be able to host this film in Harrisburg!

About the film:

Directed by Philip Trevelyan

The Pages live in a ramshackle house situated in six acres of woodland, which they own themselves, in the heart of the commuter-belt, 20 miles south of London. The trees cut the Pages off completely from the outside world, and isolated in their island-clearing, they let the 20th Century slowly pass them by. It is a simple life without running water, electricity or gas. Peter and Jim earn what little money the family needs by doing casual repairs to tractors and farm-machinery in the neighbourhood. Machinery is the permanent obsession of Mr Page and his sons. The wood is littered with rusty iron carcasses: parts of old engines, disembowelled car-bodies: a pile of gigantic spanners. Most spectacular are the archaic steam traction-engines which the men tinker with and drive thunderously about the woodland to no apparent purpose. The girls, too, have their special preoccupations: Nancy sits at her embroidery; Kathy tends her garden and plays comforting tunes on the harmonium in the house, or on the piano rotting away outside. As the film unfolds each member of the family spells out their personal fantasies and philosophies to the camera. For all their prodigious skills, they seem at first eccentric, quaint; their ideas tangential to our own. But in the end it emerges that they are in control of their world in a way that we can never be in control of ours.


16MM FILM NIGHT, short films and animations

DATE: Sunday April 23rd 2017 - @7PM

VENUE: Midtown Cinema



Moviate will be showing 4 short films from the vault plus a short reel of
vintage 16mm commercials! Films include an adaptation of Ray Bradbury's
Science Fiction story ZERO HOUR, plus a vintage LSD scare film, and two
short documentaries - one about an amusement park and another about living
in NYC in the 1980's! Come out and have fun with us projecting some great
entertainment on actual film!!!!

Director Zachary Weddington, In-Person, Presenting "VIVA AMIGA"

Viva Title LogoDATE: Sunday, February 19th 7PM

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

Co-Presented by:
Harrisburg University for Science and Technology


Director Zachary Weddington, In-Person, Presenting "VIVA AMIGA" a documentary about the legendary culture of the Amiga computer. "In a world of green on black, they dared to dream in color.

1985: An upstart team of Silicon Valley mavericks created a miracle: the Amiga computer. A machine made for creativity. For games, for art, for expression. Breaking from the mold set by IBM and Apple, this was something new. Something to change what people believed computers could do.

2016: The future they saw isn’t the one we live in now. Or is it?

From the creation of the world’s first multimedia digital art powerhouse, to a bankrupt shell sold and resold into obscurity, to a post-punk spark revitalized by determined fans. Viva Amiga is a look at a digital dream and the freaks, geeks and geniuses who brought it to life.

And the Amiga is still alive."


Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/vivaamiga/
Official site: https://amigafilm.com/news/

Filmmaker Joel Schlemowitz IN-PERSON presenting “78rpm”

DATE: Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

VENUE: Midtown Cinema


Moviate is pleased to welcome:
Filmmaker Joel Schelmowitz IN-PERSON, presenting his documentary "78rpm".

"78rpm" (2015, 98 min) is the first feature film by Brooklyn-based artist/filmmaker Joel Schlemowitz. The film is a fond documentary paean to the gramophone and the 78 record collector. 78rpm is amply equipped with expert talking heads – Schlemowitz interviews vintage culture mavens including Shien Lee of Dances of Vice and the London-based Shellac Sisters; authors and experts in the field; 78 record collectors including Michael Cumella of the Antique Phonograph Music program on WMFU; Jonathan Ward of Excavated Shellac; bandleader Vince Giordano; and even the grandson of the inventor of the gramophone, Oliver Berliner  But far from a dry and solemn history lesson, 78RPM is a film of mercurial high-spirited enthusiasm, featuring an array of hand-processed 16mm scenes of cinematic hijinks. Schlemowitz puts the music itself front and center, pausing to play a generous selection of old shellac records in their (3-minute) entirety – from hot jazz to Enrico Caruso to hillbilly ballads. The film’s subjects also ponder the rapid change of technology and the specter of ever-increasing obsolescence, as well as seeking to answer the ultimate question intrinsic to the 78 record: “Why 78 revolutions per minute?”


main site: http://78rpmmovie.com/

press: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/78rpm-941560
press: http://www.4columns.org/sandhu-sukhdev/78rpm
press: http://www.blouinartinfo.com/…/datebook-78rpm-by-joel-schle…

about the filmmaker:
Joel Schlemowitz is an experimental filmmaker based in Brooklyn who works in 16mm film, shadowplay, and stereographic media. He has recently completed his first feature film 78rpm, an experimental documentary about the gramophone. His short works have been shown at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, New York Film Festival, and Tribeca Film Festival and have received awards from the Chicago Underground Film Festival, The Dallas Video Festival, and elsewhere. Shows of installation artworks include Anthology Film Archives, and Microscope Gallery. He teaches experimental filmmaking at The New School and is Resident Film Programmer and Arcane Media Specialist at the Morbid Anatomy Museum.


12 O'Clock Boys

12 O Clock BoysDATE: Sunday November 27, 2016

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

A Film by Lotfy Nathan


$5 Admission

The 12 O’CLOCK BOYS are a notorious urban dirt bike pack in Baltimore — popping wheelies and weaving at excessive speeds through traffic, the group impressively evades the hamstrung police. In Lotfy Nathan’s wild, dynamic documentary (three years in the making), their stunning antics are envisioned through the eyes of young adolescent Pug – a bright kid from the Westside obsessed with the riders and willing to do anything to join their ranks. Premiering to critical acclaim at the SXSW and Hot Docs Film Festivals (where Nathan won the HBO Emerging Artist Award), 12 O’CLOCK BOYS provides a compelling and intimate personal story of a young boy and his dangerous, thrilling dream.


trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOMQY6k16TU

HAXAN with live score by Richard Nicol of Pittsburgh Modular

HAXANDATE: Saturday October 15th, 2016

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

8:00pm - 10:00pm

"HAXAN" the legendary Witchcraft Film presented with a live score by Richard Nicol of Pittsburgh Modular!

Live original music to classic witchy film!

The year 1922 was to be a landmark in the history of cinema. Not only would it see the release of both Robert Flaherty's proto-documentary Nanook Of The North and FW Murnau's influential horror Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Horror, but a third film, Häxan, though less known, would break even more ground by combining these two nascent genres to disarmingly strange effect.

Riichard Nicol performs live to "The Octopus"

MIKE KUCHAR in-person

Mike KucharDATE: Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

VENUE: Midtown Cinema

7PM, $5


JOHN WATERS said "George and Mike Kuchar's films were my first inspiration".

Come see and meet Mike Kuchar as he presents a handful of new works! From San Francisco, Mike has been visiting Harrisburg for over 10 years! We are honored to be on his tour schedule each year as he travels from the west coast to share his newest movies.

Watch the documentary, "It Came From Kuchar" and fall in love with the Kuchar Brothers' movies, and then come to see Mikes newest works THIS WEDNESDAY

24th Annual Underground Film Festival - May 19th - 21st, 2023

2023 Virtual Film Festival Schedule of Events PDF

"Moviate is a volunteer operated, not for profit organization, dedicated to bringing independent, underground, and avant-garde Cinema and Sound events to the Harrisburg, PA area."

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