Courier Life’s

First theater poised to shatter the booze ceiling

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

Who needs popcorn?

A Brooklyn film festival founder has unveiled a movie house that sells food and booze in Williamsburg — just weeks after the state passed a law allowing theaters to serve alcohol during screenings.

Marco Ursino — who owns indieScreen on Kent Avenue and runs Brooklyn International Film Festival — says the big screen-bar combo is a one-stop spot for dinner and flicks.

“We’re keeping dishes simple, so you’re not stuck waiting for food or rushing to the movie,” he said. “It’s a place to drink and party with a film festival mentality.”

The innovative set-up — which comes at a time when art house theaters are folding nationwide — explores a business model that uses drink profits to counteract expensive film distribution fees in an age of multiplexes and Netflix.

The small theater — which last week showed a series of short films and documentaries, including “The Queen of Williamsbu­rg,” a heartwarming peek at one of the neighborhood’s oldest residents — has been open for several months without the restaurant and bar.

Ursino has since teamed up with chef Anna Popermhem — who caters the festival and ran the now-shuttered Planet Thailand on N. Seventh Street — in order to craft a menu of homestyle grub with a European twist.

“It’s simple, shareable comfort food with plenty of vegetarian choices,” said Popermhem, adding the menu includes a juicy meatball dish and a back-to-basics pasta with tuna.

Urniso first conceived of the idea before the theater-meets-booze legislation passed last month, saying he wanted “just a wall” to separate beer taps from the silver screen.

He now plans to get a permit that will allow theatergoers drink during the screenings.

“It should be easy,” he said, gesturing towards a glass wall that separates the bar from the big screen. “We just need to move the drinks in there.”

It’s only a matter of time.

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

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Daily on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Caitlin from Williamsburg says:
wow, what a rip off of Nitehawk Cinema, also in Williamsburg. The owner of Nitehawk is actually the one who not only first thought of bringing the restaurant/movie theater concept to W-burg, he also is the one who spent the time and money to get the law changed.
Sept. 21, 2011, 8:25 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

Community News Group

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!