Like Greenwich Village, Soho, and the East Village before it, Williamsburg is in that apocalyptic stage where New Yorkers begin to lament its loss of artsiness, grittiness, and awesomeness. As one of the most expensive neighborhood for rent in New York City, Williamsburg saw the inklings of this transformation already in the late 2000s, later highlighted by the closings of iconic DIY music venues like Monster Island, Glasslands, and Death by Audio in the post-2010 era. The neighborhood’s “lameness” was highlighted in pop culture last year in Broad City, in a scene where three preppy lookalike dudes on a yacht simultaneously exclaimed about their move from Murray Hill to Williamsburg.
But not all is lost, and one particular place is fighting back valiantly. The Spectacle Theater on South 3rd, located in a former bodega, came to life as the neighborhood was in full transition. They play $5 movies and the organization is a non-profit, collective run endeavor. If you’re looking for cutting edge, offbeat, unique films, this is the place to hang out at. Spectacle Theatre believes so much in remaining in Williamsburg that they just signed a 10-year, more pricey lease, and are now asking for help via Kickstarter.
The Spectacle has also been a critical darling – In 2013, The Village Voice awarded it the “Best Weird Repertory Film Programming.” The organization curated a 6 week run at the Museum for Arts and Design’s NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial. New York Magazine wrote, “So this is where the film nerds are hanging out now.”
In their own words, this is why Spectacle needs your help: “If we want to keep showing movies for only $5 (and we do), we need to supplement our ticket sales. We would rather not do this by raising ticket prices or selling $12 single-origin chocolate bars and açaí bowls. Instead, we have a long-term plan that includes grants and other funding to secure the theater’s eternal survival.”