Welcome to Compact Cinema, a small independent movie theater in downtown Roanoke’s 16 West Marketplace on Church Avenue.


Our mission is to entertain, educate, and motivate the public to learn about what is happening in our local area and in the world around us, connect with each other, and take actions to improve our own lives and to work together for our common good.  After each screening, we invite the audience to participate in a group discussion about the film, to make connections and share experiences.  We also strive to inform the audience of any local individuals or organizations that are working on issues related to each movie that is screened, to encourage members of the audience to participate if they are interested.

Our movie selections include mostly independent documentary films, plus a mix of foreign and independent films.


popcorn_racksOur 18-seat screening room is indeed compact, but we’ve made it as comfortable as possible, and encourage you to feel at home by eating what you want to eat while you watch the movie.  That can include your own snacks, a meal from one of the restaurants/cafes inside the 16 West Marketplace, or the healthy GMO-free popcorn we offer for sale in the theater.  Most seats have trays to set your food on while you eat, and we provide free filtered water to drink with your meal.IMG_20140320_211954181



We currently show movies a few nights per week, so check the posts on our home page for the latest schedule.  We also show TED Talks every week, at noon every Wednesday.  The theater is also available to rent for special events such as private screenings or meetings.

Tickets are currently priced at $5.00 per movie (which includes sales tax and admissions tax) unless otherwise noted.

You can contact us at (540) 632-2109, or by email at info@compactcinema.org.  Please visit us soon, and enjoy the unique moviegoing experience we offer!

FYI, we are currently not a non-profit organization, though we are partnered with one.  Compact Cinema’s programming is developed in collaboration with and sponsored by the Plowshare Peace Center, the oldest peace group in the state of Virginia.  It is a possibility that Compact Cinema itself will become a non-profit in the future, but we are just getting started, and for now we’re keeping things simple. We chose a “.org” domain name to reflect the social mission of Compact Cinema, to be ready if we do become a non-profit in the future, and because “compactcinema.com” was already taken.  Despite being a business, Compact Cinema has so far been a “no-profit”, so please consider making a donation to help us continue serving the community with educational and thought-provoking films and events.

Let us know if you have any questions.

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One thought on “About

  1. Steven B. Stanley

    On Wednesday, August 20th, I saw a poster outside the Grandin Road Natural Foods Co-op advertising a film titled “Attack of the Killer Cicadas” and noted that it was listed as showing at your venue in mid-September. No other details were given. I would like to get more details and post them in the next episode of my program, Face The Fantastic, that airs on the Radio Free Roanoke netcast channel. This film sounds like it might be the sort to interest our speculative fiction-centered demographic, especially if it is locally produced.


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