Gone are the days of nerdy kinship over uncovering and sharing obscure and bizarre stories rendered in varying fidelity on VHS, beta, or laser disc inside Gen-X film geeks’ second home, the local video store. The hidden cinematic gems once found at much-lamented shops like Kim’s Video generally never find their way to streaming, lost in a mire of unprofitability. Luckily, this gap has been filled locally in part by the growing trend of specialty micro theaters, helmed by hard-core fans determined to not let the cult and grindhouse aesthetic die. One of the best of these spaces is Brooklyn’s low-priced (all shows are $5) and occasionally high-minded Spectacle Theater.
Spectacle’s 30-seat, community-run, and partially crowdfunded screening room is a no-frills anomaly in a former Williamsburg bodega. The close quarters don’t leave room for a concession stand, but feel free to bring your own candy and popcorn.
What the space lacks in roominess and creature comforts, it makes up for in esoteric celluloid thrills. Highlights this month include two contemporary classics of postcolonial African art cinema from Cameroonian director Jean-Pierre Bekolo; a 12-hour, one-day-only sci-fi octuple feature; and a screening of experimental cartoons from animator Ivan Maximov with a live score from Brooklyn indie-abstract band Telah. Additionally, the theater hosts biweekly Sunday kung fu punch-’em-ups, bimonthly slasher horror flicks, and midnight cult films every Friday and Saturday.
Why You Should Go: For a taste of weird and overlooked movies you won’t see anywhere else, you can’t beat the devoted and nutty curation at Spectacle Theater.
124 South 3rd Street, Williamsburg