We’re true blue Brooklyn boosters, but compared to Manhattan, we’re a little high and dry when it comes to glowing screens and popcorn, especially on the north side of the borough. We were sad to learn that Cassandra Cinema, the half-built movie theater in a half-built condo building in Williamsburg, was sold to a Texas-based theater developer and won’t open until at least 2011. But there is a growing number of small, independent and unconventional theaters around Brooklyn, including one just around the corner from the would-be Cassandra, on Kent Avenue. We don’t have to tell you about BAMcinématek, and we’ve written about uber-indie UnionDocs in the past, but here are few more Brooklyn box offices to add to your repertoire.
Though billed as a gastropub that just happens to screen overlooked fest circuit gems, DUMBO’s reRun pours a frosty draft and unspools some inspired programming. The 60-seat theater feels much like a private screening room in a carefully curated junkyard–you sit in comfy reconditioned (and clean) car seats. Add in some snacks like a fender dog with cherry mustard or some sage brown butter popcorn and you’ve a got a date night one-stop shop–sort of like a Brooklyn drive-in. You can order drinks before and and after the show, but not during, so two-fist it back to the art-house or indie film of the moment, done justice by the HD projection and amazing sound.-Jacque Lynn Schiller
Recently relocated from Sunset Park to a cavernous raw space in downtown Brooklyn, Light Industry presents an eclectic weekly series to film lovers looking for an Anthology Archives update in Brooklyn. Apropos of the neon “Meeting Place” sign in the window, the pre-screenings scene is studded with bearded guys and messy-haired girls mingling and drinking beers at the makeshift bar. The atmosphere is buzzy with cheerful anticipation and an insider-y sense of community. Films are projected (depending on the night’s selection, it could be anything from digital to a Pageant 16mm) on a white wall that serves as the screen in a curtained-off area with exposed pipes and box fans. Each event is organized by a different artist, which makes for a truly interesting programming calendar.-Jacque Lynn Schiller
IndieScreen Cinema–the newest entry to Williamsburg’s cultural scene–is also its most needed. That’s right, Williamsburg finally has a movie theater. Befitting the neighborhood, the theater isn’t your average megaplex coated in a miasma of popcorn and half-chewed Red Vines. Tucked on a still-industrial corner of Kent Avenue, IndieScreen offers fine dining and, eventually, beer and wine paired with second-run arthouse flicks. The menu ranges from Thai curry to bouillabaisse with a sushi menu in between, ideal for the all-in-one dinner-and-a-movie package. The theater itself is accessed by a strangely hard-to-find door behind the bar. It’s an intimate space, but not cloyingly so, approximating more of a high-tech A/V savvy classroom than a trip to Regal Cinemas. Each seat has a fold-up table, which is perfect for snacking on edamame hummus. The sound quality isn’t exactly THX, but you can still hear over the audience’s laughter.-Melissa Locker Benavidez
Brooklyn Heights Cinema
The neon star-patterned carpet at Brooklyn Heights Cinema will take you back to the mid-90s when movie theaters were built on a slightly less grandiose scale–before seats were engineered to resemble rows of La-Z-Boys and before large sodas came to resemble small bathtubs. The independent theater, which plays foreign, art house and indie films, also carries sweet treats from Baked in Red Hook, and serve an egg cream that would make Marty Markowitz proud. It should, however, be noted that audio in the back of the theater suffers. You can also hear the clicking of the film projection–-which, although notable, is more nostalgic than annoying.-Laura Hadden