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Microcinema: A Guide to Radical Screening: Spectacle Theater

"Spectacle’s programming brings the weirdly defiant and apocalyptic imaginary of what might be a 'vanishing New York.'"

-- Mary Billyou, writing on Spectacle Theater in The Brooklyn Rail, July 2016


Radical film and video in Williamsburg. $5 a show, 2-3 shows a day, 7 days a week.
Spectacle is a community screening space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, established and staffed entirely by volunteers. Our programming encompasses overlooked works, offbeat gems, contemporary art, radical polemics, live performance and more.

Shows are $5 unless noted as free.  

"It’s definitely not safe fare for those looking to raise their property values. The films at Spectacle reveal delusions actively in process, where man and machine have combined to produce social machines in endless vicious circles, repeating too quickly, as if on fast-forward" (Billyou, 2016). 

Spectacle in Context

Open since fall 2010, the Spectacle is a screening space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, established and staffed entirely by volunteers. With daily programming that encompasses overlooked and rarely screened works, offbeat gems, contemporary art, radical polemics, and more, Spectacle has become an  important voice in the field of cinema in NYC. A unique model in the microcinema movement, with only 30 seats in its Brooklyn home, Spectacle also focuses on collaborative practice and produces hundreds of custom-made posters and trailers for films that either never had such material or that were lost to the ravages of time.  Through this multiform practice, Spectacle provides a vital support structure for a new generation of makers who are creating the future of cinema in NYC.  --- text from the Museum of Arts and Design's film series Spectacle at MAD (2014) 

Spectacle in the Mainstream

"The cinephiles that populate Spectacle are not purists. Silent films are presented with live accompaniment when none was intended. Remixed and re-edited features appear in the programming. Early cinema is transformed into 3D anaglyphs, requiring special eyewear. Fan culture and its obsessive investment bring together alternative communities through these kinds of labors of love. Experimentation is allowed and encouraged" (Billyou, 2016).


Billyou, M. (2016, July 08). MIXED USE: Spectacle's Trailers. Retrieved April 9, 2019, from


Polacek, Jeremy. (2014, August 1).  From a Williamsburg Storefront to a Midtown Museum: Spectacle Theater at MAD. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from