A brand new movie theater is opening up in Bushwick tonight, bringing their fancy take on the Nitehawk view-n’-brew model with them. Our guess is Syndicated will do quite well if they’re able to capitalize on a whole neighborhood’s desire to hibernate not far from the apartment during this season in hell. Proving their street cred, the cinema is kicking off their inaugural night with Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the 1997 Spielberg-before-Spielberg-was-annoying sci-fi film that cost (at, ahem, $18 million) only a fraction of what studios blow on that dude now.
The first screening is indicative of the kind of film curation we should expect from Syndicated– a lot of classic films, new-ish indie films, and “everyone’s favorite 80s blockbusters.” The month of January has something of a theme going on (with a few exceptions): aliens, UFOs, and space travel. Screenings include The Thing (Jan. 16, 6:30 pm), Attack the Block (Jan. 17, 5 pm, 7 pm , and 9 pm), and the X-Files Movie (Jan. 24 and 25). You can even get your Bowie grieving on with The Man Who Fell to Earth (Jan. 20, 7 pm). The programming is similar to Nitehawk’s not-new section of its lineup, but a little more mainstream kitsch.
February is obviously the month for love, if you’re nasty. Movies include the so-stupid it’s amazing spy thriller rom-com, Mr. & Mrs. Smith (the film that shattered a generation’s trust in the virtue of marriage– how could you break up with that hair?) and Lars and the Real Girl in which Ryan Gosling gives us false hope that all people who like to put their appendages in life-sized, plastic vessels of misogyny are slightly awkward, but mostly totally cute, harmless dudes. Sigh, we’ll admit they’re both still fantastic movies.
The fun, not-super commercial (anymore, anyway) lineup of films belies the fancy setting– a brand new theater with plush chairs decked out with leather head-rests and placed at “a 30-degree pitch for unimpeded sight lines” and plenty of leg room.
Not to mention there’s going to be some very nice food and drink available for show-goers. While of course you can order booze and bites (eight different varieties of popcorn, and what the theater’s calling “artisanal snacks”) during the screenings, guests can also hit up the adjacent restaurant and bar. And you’ll have the money to blow, considering movie tickets are priced at an unheard of $3 for singles and $5 for double features. What the hell? Have we died and gone to the year 1952?
Whatever, no need to gonna question that one. We’ll just walk quietly into the restaurant and order some “popcorn-crusted fried oysters” or nachos with duck confit and a Negroni with top-shelf gin like it’s natural. Maybe we’ll even wear a top hat.
The restaurant features 70 seats (OK, so that’s a totally meager capacity compared to that Tao monstrosity, but we’ll take it) and a head chef who honed his knife at Rose Water in Park Slope, a restaurant with a “seasonal fixation.” It’s not surprising then Syndicated has an equally attentive eye toward seasonal fare in addition to gastropub food-stuffs. Sure, you can order “bacon butter maple meatballs,” but there are also handheld classics like burgers and a hot fried chicken sandwich (though they might be sort stepping on El Cortez‘s toes with that last one).
The bar sounds equally as promising with house cocktails priced between $12 and $13, like the “Airplane III,” a play on the Aviation cocktail (pisco, single-malt whisky, Falernum, creme de violet, and lime) and “Oolong Rouge,” (gin, lemon verbena, oolong tea, and cranberry tonic). Duh there’s beer on tap, some of it’s local (LIC Beer Project’s Dutch Kills, $6) and others are not (Abita’s Amber Ale, $6). The best deal is a tall boy of ‘gansett for $4. And there’s wine too, but yawn.
Syndicated opens Friday January 15 with two screenings of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 6 pm and 9 pm. See the January calendar here. Click thumbnails below for menu and more photos.
Syndicated is located at 40 Bogart Street. Opening hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 4 pm to 12 am and Thursday through Saturday 4 pm to 2 am, films screened daily.