Nitehawk Cinema Announces Relaunch and New Hires, Details New and Returning Programming

From L-R: Nitehawk’s Director of Programming and Acquisitions John Woods, Programmers Desmond Thorne + Cristina Cacioppo (Image Courtesy of Nitehawk Cinema)

NiteHawk Cinema has officially relaunched following their closure due to the pandemic, it was announced today. The relaunch will cover both Nitehawk theaters, located in Williamsburg and Prospect Park. The company has also announced the hire two new programmers: Cristina Cacioppo and Desmond Thorne.

Cacioppo most recently programmed for the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in downtown Brooklyn, where she oversaw repertory programming and spearheaded new film series and events. She previously led the 92nd Street Y’s Tribeca film program and is co-director of the New York branch of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies. She writes the ongoing column “The Outskirts” for Screen Slate and has written for MUBI on occasion.

Thorne worked on the programming team at NewFest: NY’s LGBTQ Film Festival for three years as both a programmer and a consultant for their year-round programming. He is also a filmmaker and host of the Amanda Seales-produced podcast Adventures in Black Cinema.

In a press release, the exhibitor notes that customers will be required to provide proof of vaccination prior to entry, with face masks required at all times unless seated for eating and drinking. Children under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated will still be admitted but must wear a mask, which they can also remove when seated with food and drinks. Nitehawk staff members are also required to wear masks at all times and follow strict protocols. Full information on the theaters’ COVID-19 policies can be found here.

“It’s both surreal and exciting to be back,” said Nitehawk’s Director of Programming and Acquisitions John Woods. “I feel like the time away has given us all a new and energized focus. We’ll continue to expand the scope of our repertory programs and live screening events celebrating all the talented and passionate individuals making feature and short films as well as music videos and documentaries. We have a lot of great things planned and can’t wait to share them with everyone.”

As part of the reopening, Nitehawk Cinema will bring back several of its series and film festivals while also debuting new ones. Mainstay series include “Anniversary Party,” which screens films on the anniversaries of their theatrical releases. That series will kick off with a 20th anniversary screening of The Anniversary Party, the film that inspired the series’ name, followed by a Q&A with co-director and star Alan Cumming. Other mainstay series include “In Case You Missed It 2020,” which screens movies that may have slipped under the radar during the pandemic, and “Weekends with Wes,” described as “a brunch journey through the oeuvre of Wes Anderson.”

Original returning series will include “Live Sound Cinema,” which screens films with a live-orchestra soundtrack; “Music Driven,” spotlighting both new and classic music-focused films; “Spoons, Toons & Booze,” which screens cartoons with an all-you-can-eat cereal bar; “No Budge,” a partnership with the streaming platform of the same name that focuses on emerging filmmakers; and “Future of Film is Female,” a partnership with the non-profit organization of the same name that amplifies the work of woman and non-binary filmmakers.

New monthly series to be hosted at Nitehawk locations include “Re-Consider This!”, which screens films that were considered “bad” upon their release, including Gothika, Josie and the Pussycats and The Family Stone; “Adventures in Black Cinema,” which will coincide with Thorne’s podcast of the same name and highlight films such as Tales from the Hood, Soul Food and The Preacher’s Wife; “nostalgia, ULTRA,” which will screen childhood favorites from the ‘80s, ‘90s and early ‘00s including The Addams Family, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Rounding out the new series are “Nitehawk Diaries,” which will screen erotic thrillers such as Fear, Never Talk to Strangers and Malice and include a game of “Erotic Thriller Tropes Bingo”; and “Recent Restorations,” which will feature Marcell Jankovics’ animated classic Son of the White Mare in September and Paul Morrissey’s Blood for Dracula in October.

Film festivals slated to screen at Nitehawk cinemas include the Brooklyn Horror Festival from October 14-21 (at the Williamsburg location) and NewFest from October 16-24 (at the Prospect Park location). The Nitehawk Shorts Festival will also return from March 2-6, 2022, with submissions opening up on Sept. 20, 2021.

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