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. We host regular, live events, offer workshops on experimental moving image and sound production and operate a storefront shop specializing in print publications, sound recordings and other artist-made media.

We also serve our own hand-crafted beer, brewed on-site, at all our events as well as some off-site events. Find out more at shapeshiftersbrewery.com

NEW! - We now have a cafe next door to our cinema, serving freshly-made salads, sandwiches, coffee, tea, pastries and more. Open M-F, 6am-3pm. Find out more at shapeshifterscafe.com


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


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.


Show nights only, currently. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, unless otherwise noted.

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.


Upcoming Programs & Events

Pauline Oliveros

Deep Listening: The Story of Pauline Oliveros
Bay Area Premiere!
Friday, June 16, 8pm - Film screening + Q&A with director Daniel Weintraub and IONE - Tickets
Saturday, June 17, 2pm - Film screening + Music Performance - Tickets
Admission: $15 (discount for members)

Deep Listening: The Story of Pauline Oliveros tells the story of the iconic composer, performer, teacher, philosopher, technological innovator and humanitarian, Pauline Oliveros. She was one of the world’s original electronic musicians, one of the few women amongst notable post-war American composers, a master accordion player, a teacher and mentor to musicians, a gateway to music and sound for non- musicians and a technical innovator who helped develop everything from tools that allow musicians to play together while in different countries to software that enables those with physical limitations to create beautiful music. On the vanguard of contemporary American music for six decades, her story illuminates the pathway to how we got where we are and where the future will take us in the worlds of music, the philosophy of sound, and the art of listening. Made in collaboration with executive producer Ione, Oliveros’ partner in life and work, and the Ministry of Maåt, Inc., the film combines rare archival footage, live performances, and unreleased music with appearances by Terry Riley, Anna Halprin, Ione, Linda Montano, Laurie Anderson, Thurston Moore, Alvin Lucier, Claire Chase, Miya Masaoka, Morton Subotnick, Tony Martin, Ramon Sender and many more ground-breaking artists.

PLEASE NOTE: We will be hosting TWO SCREENINGS of the film. The Friday program will include a Q&A with director Daniel Weintraub and IONE after the film. The Saturday program will also include a live telematic performance of "Six For New Time" by Pauline Oliveros featuring IONE, Jennifer Wilsey, amy reed, Tom Bickley, Jacob Felix Heule & Matt Robidoux)

Cinema Ann Arbor by Frank Uhle

Cinema Ann Arbor Book Release + Film Screening with Frank Uhle
Friday, July 21, 2023
Admission: $10 (discount for members)

Cultural historian and author Frank Uhle will be joined in conversation with local filmmaker/educator/historian Danny Plotnick to talk about his new book Cinema Ann Arbor. The book offers a first-hand, in-depth look at the history of film-watching and film-making in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan and uncovers unexpected and essential stories of the university’s film societies and the campus rebels who ran them. Uhle introduces readers to unforgettable people—nonconformists, artists and nerds, from the Weather Underground to the Velvet Underground—who composed the magnificence of Ann Arbor’s twentieth-century film scene.

Following the conversation, Uhle will present a 40-minute film program including work by Jay Cassidy (editor of American Hustle); George Manupelli (founder of the Ann Arbor Film Festival); Pat Oleszko (beloved festival performance artist); Mary Cybulski and John Tintori (she a script supervisor for Ang Lee; he the editor of Eight Men Out); Danny Plotnick (Skate Witches, and author of Super-8, an illustrated history); and Andrew Lugg (filmmaker/philosophy professor). The experimental shorts will be intercut with oddities and extras including snippets of film used to promote campus screenings, audience-created work from the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and pre-show informational reels. These works have been digitally transferred from original 16mm and 8mm prints, many for the first time, for Uhle's book tour film program.

About Our Cinema

Our intimate, 40-seat cinema is able to host a range of presentations by contemporary artists working in film, video, sound, music, multimedia and performance. Our focus is primarily on experimental and artist-made.


Tickets for all events are available on-line pre-show as well as at the door (unless otherwise noted). Information and links are posted under each program event listing.

Venue Specs

Find out more about our venue.


View Past Programs


Upcoming Workshop

Tint and Tone workshop with Alfonso Alvarez

Film Tinting and Toning
Instructor: Alfonso Alvarez
Saturday, July 1, 2023
In-person at Shapeshifters Cinema
Admission: $45
(Discount for members)

Join us for an afternoon of experimental film tinting and toning basics. Filmmaker Alfonso Alvarez will talk about photochemical science and the history of tinting and toning black and white motion picture film. Participants will then spend the afternoon outside, applying tinting and toning techniques to decay, expand and mutate black and white processed film with a variety of toning solution colors. All materials will be provided. Please note this workshop involves the use of photochemicals and may not be suitable for everyone.

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!


View Past Workshops


The Shapeshifters shop 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, December 6, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema


Lynne Sachs, November 10, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema


Minoosh Zomorodinia, October 13, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema


Jeremy Rourke, September 20, 2019 at Shapeshifters Cinema



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.

jlid logo

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.

city-of-oakland logo

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

Join the Mailing List


Instagram Feed


Keep In Touch

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

connect /-\ shapeshifterscinema.com