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Dinner and a movie — coming soon to Williamsburg

The Brooklyn Paper
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Grab your popcorn, Williamsburg! After years of fulfilling your cinema needs outside the neighborhood, you’re about to get your very own movie house.

Movie lovers will get a quick preview of indieScreen, on Kent Avenue, at the Brooklyn International Film Festival next week, said theater owner Marco Ursino, who also heads the festival.

The small theater — it only has 12 rows, 93 seats and a 17-foot-by-8-foot screen — is expected have its official opening as an independent film house in late June.

But movie lovers going to indieScreen will experience more than the latest avant-garde flick. Besides the digital HD projector and the stadium-style seating, there will also find a bar and restaurant, although neither will be open by next week.

When everything’s operational, it’ll be the ultimate dinner and a movie spot, Ursino hopes.

“Ever since I moved to Williamsburg, I’ve only seen theaters closing,” said Ursino, who’s managed the Brooklyn International Film Festival for 13 years. “The last time we screened a film in Williamsburg was in the Commodore Theater, but that was torn down.”

The Commodore, the last of the 1920-era Vaudeville theaters to line Broadway, closed for good in 2002, despite a push to landmark the building.

The property, bordered by Rodney and Keap streets, was expected to be turned into a yeshiva, but it remains vacant.

There are only a small handful of theaters solely dedicated to independent films in the city, but Ursino thinks local hipsters will take to indieScreen, located next to the former Domino Sugar Factory between S. First and S. Second streets, as they would the Angelika Film Center in SoHo.

“We’re taking a risk, but there’s a need for it,” he said.

Locals agree.

“There are no movie theaters nearby, and I always end up going into the city to see movies,” aid Abbey, who works at the Glasslands Gallery, which is down the block from indieScreen. “I think it would be a welcome addition to the neighborho­od.”

— with Aaron Short

indieScreen [285 Kent Ave. between S. First and S. Second streets in Williamsburg, (718) 388-4306]. For show times and tickets, visit www.brooklynfilmfestival.org.

Updated 12:08 am, June 2, 2010
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Reasonable discourse

John from East Williamsburg says:
Indie films? I don't want that. I want to see regular Hollywood movies. Guess I'll just keep going to Union Square.
June 1, 2010, 9:24 am
Chester from Williamsburg says:
Is the place only going to have digital projection. It'd be a shame for the first place in Williamsburg to show movies in years to not have an actual film projector.
June 7, 2010, 10:09 am
Alex from Williamsburg says:
I love the idea and will stop by to watch an indie flick! Williamsburg speaks Indie (not big time Hollywood feature...if you love them so much go live by Union Square!) and, being a filmmaker myself, I understand the choice of an HD projector even though I love real film; I'm sure it was also matter of cost (one projector already is expensive, but someone who has never produced a film wouldn't know that).
Sept. 28, 2010, 8 am

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