Starting With an Outdoor Movie Theater for Northside

If word hasn’t reached you yet, we — PAR-Projects — have officially purchased 1662 Hoffner Street, a little parcel of land in Northside where we plan to construct our long-awaited art & education center.

If word hasn’t reached you yet, we — PAR-Projects — have officially purchased 1662 Hoffner Street, a little parcel of land in Northside where we plan to construct our long-awaited art & education center.

Why should you care though?

If you’re not familiar with our organization, we’re the group that transformed the empty warehouse at Bertke Electric (on Blue Rock street) into the event space it is today, with a fashion show that featured a string quartet from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. We’re also the group that is currently landing the large scale sculptures along the Mill Creek bike trail — a project that started with us growing an acre of corn for the community to enjoy. But more recently, we’re the organization that just rescued the Northside Community Yard Sale. In essence, we’re all about getting the community together to celebrate the arts.

Prior to those projects though, we developed an idea to teach practical arts (e.g. graphic design, print layout and video editing) at a community accessible level. The goal: Teach our neighborhood teens and adults skill-sets that can help further their careers and/or simply expand their knowledge about current digital practices. And if you’re not familiar with the project, it should also be mentioned that one of the most intriguing parts about our facility is that it will be primarily constructed out of repurposed shipping containers — a testament to our community’s focus on sustainable practices.

The unfortunate thing is, through the process, we noticed a lot of the excitement this project originally found has faded. It turns out a number of people thought we just gave up, as heavy promotions ended. But don’t worry, we’re still here. The behind the scenes work (with such a unique facility) simply took a bit longer than expected. Then finding affordable land, while raising capital to purchase it was a bit of a doozy.

That said, we’ve never been happier to call Northside home. But more importantly, we’re excited to finally be sharing our plans again.

The great and unexpected news: Our first goal is to build an outdoor movie theater for the neighborhood. The simple thought is that it will be wonderful to have walkable access to cheap (and/or free) big screen movies on a weekly basis. Of course we won’t be screening current blockbusters; but we believe offering classic movies like The Princess Bride, Ghostbusters, and Toy Story will do great things in helping us build another place for community here in Northside.



phase1Progress1The space will also be used for outdoor plays, neighborhood events and generally any “good” ideas that we are presented with. If you have a fundraiser coming up, why not have it on our grounds? If you need a unique place to host a meeting, why not have it at our space? Or if you just want to throw a little shindig amongst artwork and creative thinkers, again, you’ll be able to do that at 1662 Hoffner Street.

All said, everything we’re doing is a step towards the long term goal, so we hope to regain your interest. The first floor of our building (Phase 1) will literally branch off of either side of the theater and we’ll continue growing from there. For us, activating the land and creating something useful is simply the best way forward. And as long as we never have to introduce a lot of debt, we’ll easily be able to keep the project going.

To keep fundraising part of the conversation, our first goal is to find 500 people from around the city (at least 250 from Northside) who are interested in re-joining the cause. For a small buy-in of $40, members will gain free access to all of our movies and events through 2015; but more importantly, members will be able to take pride in knowing they helped to build something for Northside.

If this is something you’d like to be a part of, please join in at and start spreading the word that we’re here to stay.

Thanks in advance.

For questions, please contact Jonathan Sears, Executive Director, Professional Artistic Research Projects, via or (513)394-6564.

 By Jonathan Sears



Jonathan Sears
About Jonathan Sears (2 Articles)
Artist and designer Jonathan Sears is the Executive Director of Professional Artistic Research (PAR) Projects. As an individual, he’s been studying art his entire life culminating with an MFA degree from The University of Maryland College Park in 2006. These days he looks to build an arts & education center for Northside and help teach practical arts training to teens and adults of our region.
Contact: Website

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