Park Slope

Revealed: Original historical architecture at Park Slope’s Nitehawk Cinema

Renovation now postponed until early 2018

August 7, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
One of the architectural discoveries at the renovation: a balcony sandwiched between the first and second floors. Photo courtesy of Nitehawk Cinema
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The new Nitehawk Cinema was set to open in early fall, but due to the discovery of valuable original architecture while renovating, the grand opening has been pushed back until early 2018.

One of the pieces they found was a balcony sandwiched between the first and second floor. “During the demo, we wanted to make sure we maintained the integrity of the original structure,” a spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle. “In the process, we actually uncovered some very cool original pieces and have been working to adjust our designs to incorporate and capitalize on those interesting design details. It’s all part of the process with a project of this size and complexity.”

They are currently in the process of finalizing which original finds are salvageable and can be incorporated into the design layout.

The Pavilion, Park Slope’s only movie theater, closed its doors in November.

The theater had become a fixture in the neighborhood and had been unspooling films since 2006. It had originally opened in 1928 as the Sanders, and lasted nearly 70 years before being shuttered in 1978. It reopened with three screens in 1996 as the Pavilion, before being divided into nine screens by 2000.  

Hidrock Realty bought the landmarked neo-Renaissance-style theater property at 188 Prospect Park West for $16 million in 2006, city Finance Department records indicate. The developer also purchased a restaurant building next door to it for $3,090,750 in 2012, Finance Department records show.

Hidrock Realty drew up plans to convert the properties to residential condos with a small movie theater — but ultimately scrapped those plans after community opposition.

In 2016, Hidrock Realty sold the Pavilion Theater building for $28 million, Finance Department records show. The buyer was 188 Prospect Park West LLC with Matthew Viragh as manager.

Viragh is the Nitehawk’s owner.

The first Nitehawk theater opened on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg in 2011.  

When asked last November about preserving the integrity and structure of the theater, Nitehawk Director of Programming and Acquisitions John Woods told the Eagle, “As far as the interior, there’s not much to preserve because it was redone in the nineties. Of course, the building’s a landmark so we’re not going to do anything to the outside of it.”

The new Nitehawk Prospect Park cinema will have seven screens and a total of 650 seats, two kitchens, two bar areas, an atrium overlooking the park and in-theater dining.

It will feature independent films, movie classics and children’s favorites.  There will also be a full dining menu including beer, wine and cocktails.


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