New Reasons To Endure Movie Theaters: Performance Art, Booze

by BILLY GRAY · June 23, 2010

Just as movie ticket prices stealthily crawled from $12.50 to an unlucky $13, a gang of limeys and a new theater prove the theatrical experience beats watching pirated films from your body-dented couch. One involves cinematic immersion that puts 3-D to shame. The other involves mojitos.

Future Cinema is a London troupe crossing the pond on Wednesday, June 30th with a riotous blend of interactive art to complement the moviegoing experience. Its screenings immerse the viewer in the show through a fusion of design, music and performance tailored to whichever film is on the marquee. I'm hoping the bevvy of astronauts in the trailer below are watching 2001 and not Muppets from Space:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Agz54b_jOHI&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Going strong in the Old Smoke since 2007, Future Cinema's inaugural New York outing will center around Blow Up , a very London movie about that city's Swinging '60s directed by Italian minimalist maestro Michaelangelo Antonioni. Sensory elements circling around the movie will include a pub, a live garage rock band, screaming girls dressed in the latest mod styles, aggressive shutterbugs and fawning, willowy supermodels. So more or less my typical Wednesday night. The happening runs from 8pm-1am at the Shangri La Studio (100 Sutton Street, Greenpoint). Sign up here. And don't fret over dropping $13. This is free.

Elsewhere in Brooklyn, namely Williamsburg, the newly christened indieScreen is bringing a less ambitious but equally welcome form of interaction to the movies: the one between you and a stiff drink. Sixteen years after Pulp Fiction's indie icon Vincent Vega let Americans know that "you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer," the civilized, adult concept is hitting our shores.

Marco Ursino's art house at 285 Kent Avenue includes not only a restaurant, but a full bar. Nevermind that hooch will only be allowed inside the theater on special occasions. Why else would movie theaters go pitch black at showtime but to ease the smuggling of contraband? Toast the venue this weekend as it hosts new movies from Todd Solondz and James Franco at this weekend's Northside Festival.

There you have it: two engaging reasons to shell out for the big screen experience. And none of the dorky humiliation of 3-D glasses.

Photo 2 via Stefano Giovannini/Brooklyn Paper