Aurora Picture Show was founded in 1998 by Houston-based artist and former Core Fellow, Andrea Grover. Through volunteer labor and equipment donations, Grover converted a 1924 wooden church building located in Houston’s Sunset Heights into a 100-seat capacity cinema. The first Aurora screening was in June 1998 and in 1999 Aurora Picture Show received its non-profit status.
In February 2007, Aurora launched the Aurora Video Library, a non-circulating research library made available for free to educators, students, artists, and the general public, five days per week, year-round; and the Aurora Video Label, a DVD label which features artist-made media.
In 2009, Andrea retired the church location on Aurora Street, stepping back from the role of full-time staff member, and Aurora began touring across Houston as a nomadic cinema with offices located near The Menil Collection.
The organization moved from the grey Menil bungalow in June 2012 to a former artist studio located in the Kirby/Rice area of Houston in June 2012. This is the first time that the screening space, education and video library, as well as administrative offices have been located in one location. Though this new home for Aurora is now the home base for operations and regular screening and education programs, Aurora remains committed to being a pop-up cinema rolling across the diverse landscape of Houston and partnering with other alternative art spaces to bring curated short programs to the entire city.
In 2003, Aurora was invited by the Sundance Channel to create a Snapshot Diary, a one minute long segment on our cinema. This segment aired more than 20 times on the Sundance Channel.
In 2001, Aurora Picture Show was the subject of a national PBS program, Egg the Arts Show; Aurora was one of three small cinemas in the US chosen to be featured on this program on Microcinemas and the small cinema movement.