Shh! New Williamsburg dine-in cinema only serves quiet food

Shh! New Williamsburg dine-in cinema only serves quiet food
Silent bites: Syndicated manager Tim Chung asked his chef to make a menu of theater-friendly snacks — such as popcorn fried oysters — that will not annoy moviegoers with excessive noise.
Photo by Jason Speakman

Talk about making concessions!

A new movie theater and restaurant in industrial Williamsburg will combat the rampant problem of noisy chewing at dine-in cinemas by only serving dishes that don’t make a loud crunch or require silverware.

“The last thing you want is more excuses to make sounds in the theater,” said Tim Chung, manager of new 60-seat Bogart Street cinema and eatery Syndicated, which opens Friday.

The dining and entertainment destination between Thames and Grattan streets will feature a theater-friendly menu made entirely of finger-foods — such as an Elvis-inspired peanut butter and banana sandwich and pork-stuffed tater-tots — to cut down on mess and irritating cutlery noises during the movie.

Diners can enjoy larger and louder dishes in the venue’s dining room, which will serve up fried chicken and burger alongside Hollywood-themed cocktails, Chung said.

The food-lover and former film industry worker says he dreamed up the cinema as a way to combine his love of food and flicks, and also to re-introduce the magic of movie-going for the jaded Netflix age.

“People are going to the movies less and less, and I felt puzzled and heartbroken by that,” he said. “So I wanted to make the movie-going experience more special, and I wanted to jazz it up by adding booze and really good food.”

Syndicated will kick off a month of old-school cinema on Friday with Spielberg’s classic alien thriller “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” but the theater will feature a wide variety of new and old in the coming months, said Chung. It will screen a festival of the year’s Oscar-nominated shorts next month, and air the new season of “The X-Files” when it premiers on Jan. 24.

And if this is all starting to sound a bit familiar — between Williasmburg’s Nitehawk Cinema and Videology, and the forthcoming Alamo Drafthouse Downtown — Chung says you are not the only one. But he hopes his specialty drinks, super-quiet menu, and wholehearted appreciation for silver-screen magic will set his joint apart from the rest.

“I am painfully conscious of their existence,” he said of Nitehawk. “So obviously we’re trying to zig a little bit where they’re zagging.”

Syndicated [40 Bogart St. between Thames and Grattan streets in Williamsburg, (718) 386–3399, www.syndicatedbk.com].

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at ahobbs@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8312.

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