The Cube is an artist-run cinema, arts and music venue, constituted as a workers' co-operative with an entirely volunteer workforce of around 150 people and an international reputation. The building it occupies has a long history in the arts, built in 1916 and converted into a 108-seat theatre in 1964, with projection room and screen added in the 70s. Since taking on the premises in 1998, the Cube has become a vital part of Bristol cultural life, hosting a wide array of local and international artists and community-initiated events. The building's freehold owner, Microplex Holdings, is a Community Land Trust set up by the Cube in 2011 to secure and develop the building as the Cube's longterm home.
In 2016, the Cube will be undergoing major renovation. This will entail significant restructuring of its internal spaces. The Cube community has been involved in an archaeology project since June 2015. Archaeo-Cube is a long-term, participatory archaeology project that is assembling the material histories of the Cube's vernacular construction and developing understandings of the Cube building in its historic and contemporary urban setting. In May 2015, Archaeologist and Cube volunteer Angela Piccini (University of Bristol) gathered together contemporary and historical archaeology experts James Dixon (Museum of London Archaeology), Jo Bruck (University of Bristol) and Thomas Kador (University of Bristol/UCL) with 12 Cube volunteers for a weekend workshop. The focus was on developing a community-engaged archaeology of the Cube site. To develop a robust critical framework, volunteers participated in discussions about archaeology as a discipline and as a set of practices. Volunteers were then trained in a range of conventional and experimental archaeological recording methods including photogrammetry, fieldwalking, surface rubbings, archaeological photography, drawing, finds collection and archiving. Volunteers were also trained in heritage interpretation and are now able to run archaeology workshops independently with other volunteers. The Archaeo-Cube archive is being maintained in both a material collection and on the Cube's secure server.