Park Slope

PHOTOS: Nitehawk Cinema finally opens in Park Slope’s landmarked Pavilion Theater

December 19, 2018 By Todd Maisel Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The new Nitehawk movie theater opened Tuesday night to a large crowd of media and interested parties in Park Slope. Eagle photos by Todd Maisel
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The show must go on.

Drinks and popcorn were finally flowing on Tuesday at Nitehawk Cinema’s new Park Slope location for its opening party.  

The borough has been eagerly waiting for the landmarked former Pavilion Theater, vacant since 2016, to finally serve the public.

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The Williamsburg-based Nitehawk Cinema chain, known for its in-seat food and beverage service, has been working on the site at 188 Prospect Park for more than a year.

“It’s a privilege to bring Nitehawk’s enhanced cinematic experience to the neighborhood, particularly in one of New York’s legacy movie theaters,” Nitehawk founder Matthew Viragh said.

The original opening date for the $15 million rehab was scheduled for early 2018, but was pushed back several times. The newly refurbished 650-seat theater officially opened to the public on Wednesday. It boasts 34,000 square feet and seven state-of-the-art theaters.

The movie house will feature Hollywood blockbusters, independent first-run films and special repertory programming.

An extensive rehabilitation of the building, completed in coordination with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, revealed several unique historical elements, which are showcased in Nitehawk Prospect Park’s final design.

Inspired by the site’s history, Viragh helmed a renovation approach that embraced architectural quirks while also providing important upgrades to the long-neglected space.

A restored mezzanine, for example, once again offers breathtaking views of Brooklyn’s flagship park with two full bars.

As with the existing cinema in Williamsburg, Nitehawk continues to craft cocktails, local beers, and signature dishes to thematically align with the films being shown.

Guests can enjoy staples like the Nitehawk burger, tater tots, and truffle citric popcorn, along with some new mouthwatering options.

With Nitehawk Prospect Park’s opening, Nitehawk also introduces “Dine and Dash,” which allows guests to enjoy food and beverages without having a check presented during the film, resulting in a more seamless and unobtrusive experience.

Plus, the theater is offering 150 jobs.

The former Pavilion Theater was plagued with many problems, including a lack of heat, bedbugs and incorrect movie times. The building, on Bartel Pritchard Square, was built as the Sanders Theater in 1928, but it closed in 1978 and remained vacant until reopening as the Pavilion in 1995.

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