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Microcinema Showcasing African Diaspora Artists Pops Up in Central Brooklyn

 The Luminal Theater, a cinema pop-up, will operate on Tompkins Avenue from mid-July to September.
The Luminal Theater, a cinema pop-up, will operate on Tompkins Avenue from mid-July to September.
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The Luminal Theater

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Brooklyn filmmakers looking for a space to showcase their work need look no further than Tompkins Avenue.

The Luminal Theater, a new pop-up “microcinema,” is slated to open this month at 405 Tompkins Ave. to exhibit media from the African Diaspora, organizers said.

“Central Brooklyn, especially Bed-Stuy, is a huge enclave for artists — particularly black filmmakers,” said Curtis Caesar John, the theater’s executive director.

“It’s entertainment, but the Luminal Theater really works to sustain art for the neighborhood.”

The 700-square-foot venue will seat up to 30 people and host screenings, filmmaking workshops and community programs.

One scheduled session caters to seniors, while another titled “I Know That House: Your Home on the Big Screen,” discusses how independent and studio filming in the neighborhood impacts residents.

Organizers also plan to offer outdoor seating and feature a monitor in the front window to display guest artists.

“There are microcinemas in Williamsburg and Bushwick, but none really catering to the African Diaspora,” John said. “Our main goal is to be able to educate people and bring the importance of media literacy to our neighbors.”

John and artistic director Clairesa Clay both co-founded Brooklyn-based film festivals and will work to curate programs for the Luminal Theater.

The space has already hosted a special July Fourth screening in conjunction with the Bed-Stuy First Saturdays Art Walk.

When the theater officially opens in mid-July, events are expected to range from no cost up to $10, organizers said. The venue will operate through September.