The Nitehawk Cinema, Prospect Park

The Nitehawk

Brooklyn, New York

Nitehawk cinema. Think! Architecture & Design

The Nitehawk Cinema was the first movie venue in New York City to introduce eating and drinking into the movie watching experience. Based on the success of their first multi-screen theater in Williamsburg, the Nitehawk purchased the Pavilion Theater in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn to expand their brand. The Pavilion was originally built in the 1920’s as the Sanders, a vaudeville and movie palace. In the 1990’s, in a slapdash renovation, it was carved up into a 9 screen multiplex. Despite its location in one of New York’s prime residential neighborhoods, it had, over the years, devolved into an overused and poorly maintained facility with a dwindling audience.

The transformation of the Pavilion into the Nitehawk will reduce the number of screens to 7 to allow for the insertion of a large commercial kitchen capable of serving the 650 seat theaters for over 1,200 meals on a busy weekend night. Two bars and a lounge have been opened up by exposing the theaters original structure and the original brick walls of the Sanders Theater have been exposed as a counterpoint to the new design interventions. The design approach to the project follows think!’s philosophy that in renovation, the old should be old, the new should be new and that both will be better off for the comparison.