Nitehawk Cinema announces the December 19th grand opening of its new 650-seat cinema in the completely redesigned and refurbished Pavilion Theater, now dubbed Nitehawk Prospect Park. Located at 188 Prospect Park West, the 34,000 square foot facility features seven state-of-the-art theaters and dynamic supporting amenities. The venue’s size allows for screenings of Hollywood blockbusters, independent first-run films, and special repertory programming.
Nestled on Bartel-Pritchard Square, the building dates to 1928 and has served as a local entertainment destination for much of its existence, most recently as the Pavilion Theater. An extensive rehabilitation of the building, completed in coordination with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, revealed several unique historical elements; some of these are intentionally showcased in Nitehawk Prospect Park’s final design. A restored mezzanine, for example, once again offers breathtaking views of Brookyln’s flagship park.
“It’s a privilege to bring Nitehawk’s enhanced cinematic experience to the neighborhood, particularly in one of New York’s legacy movie theaters,” says Nitehawk founder Matthew Viragh. 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. For the first time in its history, the building includes an elevator and is accessible to people with disabilities. The reimagined facility features two bars, both open to guests and non-moviegoers alike.
As with the existing cinema in Williamsburg, Nitehawk continues to craft cocktails, local beers, and signature dishes to thematically align with the current line-up of films. 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 & Dash; the new feature allows guests to enjoy food and beverage items without having a check presented during the film, resulting in a more seamless and unobtrusive experience.
“The Pavilion Theater was the cinema that originally inspired me to open Nitehawk,” states Viragh, who admits to once smuggling booze into a Pavilion Theater screening. Nitehawk fans will remember the precedent-setting opportunity to purchase alcoholic beverages during screenings when Nitehawk first opened. In 2011, Viragh worked with David Pfeffer, head of Tarter Krinksy & Drogin’s Construction practice, to secure a change to New York State liquor regulations that made this opportunity possible. More recently, Pfeffer advised on the acquisition, financing, and construction of Nitehawk Prospect Park. Sunil Aggarwal of ThinkForward Financial also supported the project’s financing, ultimately securing Flushing Bank as a project partner. Before plans solidified for Nitehawk Prospect Park, the site was slated for conversion into condominiums.
Throughout the building’s complex renovation, Nitehawk was represented by Denham Wolf Real Estate Services, a firm that serves New York’s community organizations and nonprofits. Think! Architecture and Design provided architectural services. Reidy Contracting Group served as the $15M project’s construction manager. Much of the décor, including the new neon marquee and the bars’ millwork, were crafted locally.
Nitehawk Cinema is committed to the site’s community-focused legacy by updating its age policy to allow for Lil’ Hawks ages 13+ into appropriately rated showings prior to 6 pm and generating over 150 new jobs in the process.