Nitehawk Cinema - Prospect Park

188 Prospect Park W,
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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Showing 1 - 25 of 60 comments

classictheaters on April 17, 2019 at 9:44 pm

Went once – what a waste of time. Theaters are so small, it’s like watching your large screen TV at home. – Well – back to the Loew’s Jersey 3200 seat Palace for some classic films on that huge screen! (wish the King’s in Brooklyn would show films from time to time)

Willburg145 on April 10, 2019 at 8:31 am

Too bad there are no photos of the old interior when it first opened

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on January 6, 2019 at 6:07 pm

Is there any original or recreated architectural detail in any of the auditoriums?

ridethectrain on January 6, 2019 at 4:11 pm

The theatres are nice, theatre 6 the sighlines are poor. Theatres 1 and 2 look the best and theatre 5 has 4 long rows, close to the screen (That was the pavilion ad on theatre before it closed). I posted some photos of the auditoriums. When in theatres 4 and 6, the bathrooms are a couple of flights downstairs.

This theatre needs reserve seating, people are fighting over seats. When pictures playdate with the Alamo, the Alamo Downtown Brooklyn is the better movie theatre.

digital3d on December 18, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Theater just opened doors, lots of people in attendance. Theater 2 has great stadium seating, other theaters don’t but very large leg room everywhere. Masking in all auditoriums, seats are comfortable. They also put an old and dusty film projector on display in auditorium 2.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 18, 2018 at 10:07 am

I have to laugh at a chain like Alamo, which has a strict no talking and no texting policy, yet meanwhile there are servers running in and out of the theater throughout the feature film…!

markp on December 18, 2018 at 8:50 am

I agree with both of you that its a good thing its still a cinema showing movies. The other thing Im really not a fan of is the whole dine-in thing. Went to an AMC one once and that was it. AS I said Im old school, having been a projectionist now for 42 years. Im glad at least Im still called on to run 70MM once in a while.

Bway on December 18, 2018 at 8:05 am

I agree and it sure is better than being gutted and converted into retail, or worse gutted and converted to luxury apartments like is happening to a few of them recently. At least this is still showing movies

digital3d on December 18, 2018 at 8:00 am

Those 48, 56 and 70 seat auditoriums here are more like standard 96, 112 and 140 theaters because the seats here have extra space in between them for the tables and servers.

See this image for instance of a new auditorium here:

BTW, four of the seven theaters here (1, 2, 4 and 6) are supposed to be have 35mm capability.

I don’t think we’ll see many new theaters with 600, 700 seat screens opening, as nice as those auditoriums are. Recliner seats and dine-in tables are taking over movie theaters. Possibly IMAX would be the only place for those kind of seat counts as they use non-reclining leather chairs for their new Laser locations.

Screen size however doesn’t necessarily suffer from lower seat count. When a 700 seat auditorium with old chairs gets converted to a 350 auditorium with recliners or dine-in tables, the screen still remains the same.

Also: this theater will be showing Mary Poppins Returns, Aquaman and Vice. Movies that Nitehawk in Williamsburg is not likely to get.

markp on December 18, 2018 at 7:43 am

I don’t know. Maybe its me. I must be old school. I just don’t see the point of theatres with 48, 56, and 70 seats. Even 166. Must be like watching a large screen tv. Give me the old days. Even theatres I worked at after twinning or more still had 600, 700 seats.

ridethectrain on December 17, 2018 at 7:47 pm

General Admission (Subject to Change) 7 theaters, totalling 650 seats Theater 1: 194 seats Theater 2: 166 seats Theater 3: 70 seats (lower level) Theater 4: 60 seats Theater 5: 56 (lower level) Theater 6: 48 Theater 7: 56 (lower level)

moviebuff82 on December 16, 2018 at 6:43 am

Why can’t Nitehawk expand to other locations in the tri-state?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on December 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm


After a year-long delay of its original opening date, Nitehawk is finally ready to debut its new location inside Park Slope’s restored Pavilion Theater, across from Prospect Park.

A Facebook post on Nitehawk’s page revealed that the theater will hosts its grand opening on Wednesday, December 19, a date that PR reps for the company confirmed with Curbed. The official opening will be preceded by an invitation-only press preview on Tuesday, December 18.

Last November, Nitehawk founder Matthew Viragh told Curbed during a construction tour that various historic elements of the original theater had been discovered during the renovation phase. These included marble stairs underneath the carpeting, an exposed balcony, and ceiling panels.

Nighthawk wanted to preserve as many of these elements as possible and went back to the drawing board to incorporate them into the new multiplex, resulting in delays to its 2017, and later, its early 2018 anticipated opening dates.

BenPaz on December 13, 2018 at 12:25 pm It’s opening on December 19th of this year.

Comfortably Cool
Comfortably Cool on September 12, 2018 at 7:42 am

Brooklyn’s second and larger Nitehawk will be opening here soon, according to the current issue of New York Magazine. There will be seven screens and a total of 650 seats, up from three screens and 186 at the first; a 2,500-square-foot kitchen, up from 750-sf. Also, a dedicated upstairs bar; a dumbwaiter to deliver food to the top floor for theater service; “Film Feasts,” wherein courses come out during the scene that inspired the food; more frequent live-music pre-cinema shows with local bands.

walterk on November 30, 2017 at 7:45 am

A recent article talking about the renovation, with some interior pictures of ongoing work.

DavidZornig on October 27, 2017 at 6:13 pm

1954 photo as the Sanders added via Raymond Storey.

StevenOtero on August 25, 2017 at 11:12 am

The old Pavilion theater on Prospect Park West will become home to the second Nitehawk Cinema in early 2018.

DavidWallick on August 24, 2017 at 12:07 pm

This was seen in today’s New York Times:

Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on March 27, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Hello fellow movie theater lovers,

I’m doing a project for my photojournalism class at NYU about closed down independent movie theaters in New York. I hope to gain information about people’s past experiences at these movie theaters, recollections of favorite memories or not so great experiences, perhaps economical insight, contacts with owners/managers, etc. On a larger level, I hope my project is able to show the significance of the role that these establishments play in our city and the importance of keeping them afloat.

If anyone would be willing to answer a few questions via email about your personal memories at the theater, please let me know! It could be as simple as recounting a favorite movie you remember seeing back when it was open. I would greatly appreciate your insight.

You can contact me at:


jbrilliant on November 2, 2016 at 7:58 am

Community welcomed in for a last look before renovation. Some great photos that capture the state of things:

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 6, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Article, continued

If the Nitehawk is the movie-theater equivalent of an enduringly cool kid with a man bun, the Pavilion is more of a Miss Havisham with some questionable late-in-life cosmetic tweaks.

Perched on the westernmost corner of Prospect Park, the cinema opened as a 1,516-seat, Wurlitzer-equipped theater, the Sanders, in 1928, and for decades suffered the indignities of old age. It was shuttered in 1978, reopened as the Pavilion with three screens in 1996, then divided into nine screens in the 2000s. Local blogs meticulously pored over its decline, noting its trash-strewn, thickly sticky floors, ripped upholstery and frequently broken toilets; patrons bemoaned it as well, collectively giving it a two-star rating on Yelp.

New operators took over in 2011, adding leather seats, new carpet and fresh paint, but Park Slope cineastes would not be swayed. “There were pieces of tissue paper in my drink cup,” one patron wrote on Yelp this year. “I grab a booster for my kid and it’s covered in gum and melted gummy candy,” groused another.

The Pavilion’s long march toward Nitehawkhood began five years ago, when Mr. Viragh approached Hidrock Properties (then Hidrock Realty), which had bought the Pavilion for $16 million in 2006.

Mr. Viragh and Steven J. Hidary, whose family owns Hidrock, discussed making the theater a Nitehawk, but with the Williamsburg location also opening in 2011, the timing was off. Then, several years ago, Mr. Hidary said his family “wanted to bring out the full potential of the site.” The plan, which caused local consternation, was to build condominiums while also retaining a three- or four-screen theater. Last year, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a six-story condo conversion for the one-story building adjoining the Pavilion, with units also to be built on the cinema’s second floor. Then Mr. Viragh came forward with investors who wanted to buy the theater and give Nitehawk a long-term lease.

Brooklyn’s residential building boom has led to concerns about market oversaturation, but Mr. Hidary said that the company’s decision was not affected by a softening real estate market, because Hidrock bought relatively low and just two dozen units would be built on a prime site. Condos might have even made them more money, but “we had to decide, do we build condos or do we save Brooklyn?” said Mr. Hidary, who is from Midwood. “So we saved Brooklyn.”

The sale of the theater, for $28 million to 188 Prospect Park West L.L.C., closed on Aug. 26, according to Mr. Viragh and Mr. Hidary, with Hidrock still owning the adjoining one-story site. (Mr. Hidary said that there were no current plans to build condominiums there.) Emails to Ben Kafash, one of the Pavilion’s operators, were not immediately returned.

Brad Lander, a city councilman who fought to keep a cinema at the site, said that while the Pavilion might not have been beloved, “losing a movie theater would’ve been a blow,” adding, “It’s a center of Park Slope family life.”

The new Nitehawk will add to the boomlet in specialty art-house cinemas in New York City, which includes the Metrograph on the Lower East Side and the Syndicated, in Bushwick, Brooklyn. A branch of the Alamo Drafthouse, with seven screens and 798 seats, is set to open in Downtown Brooklyn this fall, while the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village is being refurbished for opening at an undetermined date.

“We want to elevate the cinema experience, because that’s what it’s all about,” Mr. Viragh said. “How rare is it to save a theater in New York, and not make it into a Duane Reade or a Starbucks?”

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 6, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Text of article:

Nitehawk to Open a Second Cinema in Brooklyn

Park Slope, Brooklyn, hang on to your strollers. The Pavilion, the neighborhood’s lone remaining movie house — one frequently criticized for varying degrees of neglect — is to be transformed into a Nitehawk theater, set to open early fall 2017. Plans to add condominiums to the site, made before the Nitehawk entered negotiations with the building’s owners, have been scrapped.

This will be the first expansion for team Nitehawk, which opened the popular dine-in boutique cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 2011. In an era of megabudget superhero flicks and ever-better television, Nitehawk thrived, proving that if you build a three-screen artisanal movie house in a hipster-rich neighborhood and serve burrata, kale salad and cocktails tableside, they will come. The new multiplex, to be rechristened Nitehawk Prospect Park, will have seven screens, a total of 650 seats, a double kitchen, two bar areas, a restored atrium overlooking the park, and, of course, in-theater dining, according to Matthew Viragh, Nitehawk Cinema’s founder.

The Pavilion will be closed by the end of October, he added. Renovations, which should cost less than $10 million, are expected to take about a year.

“We’ve always wanted to do more locations,” Mr. Viragh said. “Our focus is Brooklyn; we want to be a neighborhood cinema. That’s in our DNA, to cater to this area.”


Kris on September 6, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Huzzah, if all goes well, it will be a Nitehawk in 2017:

Willburg145 on June 16, 2016 at 3:39 pm

I went there today for the first time. I think I was in screen two. The air conditioning was not hardly on and it was somewhat warm in the theatre. And there was a musty smell.