Independent Movie Theater Opens in Williamsburg
A novel combination theater-and-restaurant called indieScreen is the Williamsburg waterfront’s latest work-in-progress. The entertainment hut just slid in on their so-called “soft opening” on September 3, screening the French film Let It Rain and a documentary on Basquait called Jean-Michel Basquait–The Radiant Child. The theater-eatery is still under construction but don’t worry, they don’t use power tools while screenings and/or sippings are in progress. As soon as they acquire a liquor license, they will announce their proper grand opening, with much celebration, to be sure.
Part of the indieScreen mission is to “provide a relaxed and inclusive forum where arts and culture are experienced with all five senses,” hence the presence of a sit-down restaurant currently offering their “special end of summer menu.” Both it and the 93-seat, one-screen theater are chic, bare-bulbed and painted black. The seats in the theater will also be equipped with little tables, “Much like in a college lecture hall,” explains Shannon Curtis, assistant to owners Marco Ursino and Anna Popermhem. Reasonably-priced snacks will be available from the restaurant menu.“I’m trying to get them to serve popcorn,” adds Curtis, “but no confirmation yet.”
IndieScreen is located at 285 Kent Avenue at S. 2 Street. The area around indieScreen isn’t populated by many local businesses just yet; the only notable landmark is a large green container that currently blocks the theater-eatery storefront.
Ursino, along with Susan Mackell and Mario Pegoraro, began the Brooklyn International Film Festival in 1998, so he’s familiar with independent films. Popermhem was previously head chef at NYC’s Planet Thailand, which follows indieScreen’s mission to offer “dynamic… ever changing menus.” They plan to show foreign and independent cinema, both from established indie producers, as well as offering relatively unknown filmmakers the opportunity to rent their space.
Fifteen different films will be screened during the month of September, Wednesday through Saturday at 7 and 9 p.m.. Films include Women Without Men, Winnebago Man, The Secret in Their Eyes, The City of Your Final Destination, I Am Love and several others. In addition, indieScreen is hosting a screening of Samson and Delilah, directed by Warwick Thornton about two aboriginal teenagers in Australia, and four screenings of The Ted Haggard Monologues, by Alexis Boling, as adapted from the acclaimed one-man play. Tickets are $10 for seniors and students, and $12 for everyone else.