In January 2010, a/perture cinema opened as a small two-screen art house cinema with the purpose of showcasing independent, foreign, documentary, local and festival films. At the time of opening, a/perture became a destination for non-commercial and artistic films that were not offered elsewhere in Winston-Salem and the surrounding communities. Located in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem, a/perture revived the theatrical experience in the central business district. Over the past seven years, a/perture has become a space to enjoy and celebrate art on film while fostering social capital and shared experiences. In 2013, a/perture expanded to add two additional screening rooms and now on an annual basis provides the community a home for more than 4,000 film screenings and events per year, with over 700 titles screened to date. a/perture is open 365 days a year.
Downtown Winston-Salem Community Cinema (DWSCC) was formed June 23, 2016, to assume operations of a/perture cinema. DWSCC will continue and expand a/perture’s mission of engaging and entertaining the community through the art of film by showcasing informative, educational, thought-provoking and inspiring films – films that enrich lives, engage minds, promote diversity and build community. As a non-profit cultural entity, DWSCC will follow a new sustainable model advocated by a national group of Art House Theaters known as the Art House Convergence. DWSCC will be better equipped to work for and respond to the community directly with programming and community initiatives that connect audiences to the world at large and fostering conversations with filmmakers and audience members.