Arts & Culture, Downtown Sac, Shopping

Calling All Dreamers Winners: The Dreamland Cinema

Marlee Wallace

Calling All Dreamers is a business incubator boot-camp that brings in industry professionals to mentor entrepreneurs for the chance to open a downtown storefront and earn a coveted business start-up package including $20,000 to our winner and $10,000 to our runner-up.

We are excited to announce The Dreamland Cinema has won $20,000 cash and a generous package of in-kind services. Tish Sparks, who owns The Dreamland Cinema with Lauren Hess told Sacramento Business Journal, “We are just super excited for the opportunity and grateful for the Downtown Sacramento Partnership for believing in us and our business and enabling us to take the next step as a business. Winning the contest will certainly be a game changer for us moving forward and to help us achieve what we want to do.”

The Dreamland Cinema was founded by Tish Sparks & Lauren Hess, entrepreneurs who conceptualized this idea while living in Austin, TX. Tish’s vision for building a cinema that combined her love and knowledge of film took shape while programming for both cinemas and film festivals. In June 2022, The Dreamland Cinema opened as a 23-seat microcinema with the mission of bringing the best in arthouse, international, independent, and cult film to Sacramento.

While winning Calling All Dreamers is a huge accomplishment, they have proven to be a welcome and needed addition to the film & arts landscape of Sacramento. From being named “Best Little Big Screen” by Sactown Magazine, profiled on Good Day Sacramento, featured on the Visit Sacramento podcast, and on the cover of Sacramento Magazine as one of the things to love about Sac, they have been embraced by the community. With all of these accomplishments already, they have a tremendous future ahead of them!

They plan to grow The Dreamland from a 23 seat cinema to a 50-75 seat cinema in downtown Sacramento and offer more food and beverage options for their movie-loving guests. Tish and Lauren don’t plan to close their first and current location in the Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre so you can visit them and experience the magic that is The Dreamland right now! Check out their March showings or rent out the space for a private party!


Our Calling All Dreamers runner-up is Ecojoyous! Ecojoyous offers a variety of one-of-a-kind upcycled and handmade artisan goods which are locally sourced with primarily natural and organic ingredients. They also currently offer a mobile refillery for various kitchen, bathroom, and home products and plan to include a refillery in their storefront space. Their goal is to empower, inspire, and help change the way we consume home and body products. You can find them weekly on Saturday Mornings at Midtown Farmer’s Market.

Learn more about Calling All Dreamers!