Change is never easy. But if it means trading out a poorly-serviced and notoriously bedbug-infested kind of place for a shiny new version of the same, then it’s worth the slight pangs of nostalgia you suffer in watching it go.
We’re talking, of course, about the old Pavilion Theater in Park Slope. It’s time to pay your final respects to the soon-to-be extinct movie theater, which is set to re-open as a Nitehawk Cinema in 2017. At least Nitehawk is giving you a chance to do it in style, with a free sendoff party on November 1!
There won’t be any ceremonial flaming arrows, but there will definitely be beer.
Starting at workday-friendly 6pm on Tuesday, November 1, Nitehawk’s “Pour One Out for the Pavilion” party will offer a cash bar, live music by the Street Beat Brass Band, free popcorn and movies, as well as the opportunity to explore the old theater space in its entirety (at your own risk)! They’re inviting you to go quite literally behind the scenes of this Park Slope mainstay: you can peek/make out behind the curtains, lie across the concession stand like it’s a jazz piano (maybe), and take selfies on the carpet! On second thought, don’t do that last one — bedbugs are forever, after all.
Of course, this is also a great way to eulogize the Pavilion with your neighbors: Swap movie memories, share first date anecdotes, and toast to a place that never quite lived up to its majestic exterior.
A couple of Brokelynites weighed in with their own fond memories of the Pavilion:
“I remember the last time I pulled the old “double feature” there (pay for one movie, sneak into a second). We saw The Hangover, and it was the most I’d laughed at a movie in a while. Then we snuck upstairs to see Public Enemies. I slept for about 80% of the movie, and it was the such a wonderful 90 minutes of sleep. This was before I heard about the bed bugs.” – Eric Silver
“My friend walked right in to a mid-day screening of that abysmal Great Gatsby movie with a very visible bottle of champagne like it was nothing.” – Stephanie Monohan
“I saw The Big Short there and was the only person in the theater. The movie started and no one turned the lights off. I didn’t want to miss any of the movie, so I resigned myself to getting drunk with the lights on. Luckily, a couple showed up about ten minutes later (apparently, they didn’t know about the lack of previews) and got the lights turned off. RIP Pavilion. I’ll pour one out for you, homie.” – Katie Lynn Esswein
“My girlfriend and I talked about going there for more than a year. We worked a few blocks away and we said one day we’d catch a 12:30 matinee for like $6 or however much it was. Fast forward to the week the new Star Wars came out. We decided we wanted to see it, but every single theatre in NYC was sold out through the end of the day– except the Pavilion. So we bought tickets online and went. I remember my shoes sticking to the carpet floor. We never went back.” – Alex Thrailkill
“Why was the bathroom ALWAYS broken in there? There was this stall that just, didn’t have a door, no explanation necessary.” – Lauren Greenhall
“The time it was sweltering hot and I watched Gone Girl… my boyfriend was so uncomfortable he asked for a refund but they gave him a free movie ticket instead.” – Felicia Sokol
“My roommates and I went to see Terminator Salvation there and it was entirely too cold. Like uncomfortably cold. It was like my grandma’s apartment.” – Max Reuben
Come 2017, the Park Slope venue will have been fully renovated into a seven-screen Nitehawk Cinema with indie flicks, blockbusters and family films, plus a double kitchen (for all that in-seat ordering you’re going to do), two bar areas, a restored atrium that looks over the park and — get this — an elevator.
We would’ve taken as little as “no more gum on the seats,” but this’ll do nicely.
Got any memories of the Pavilion Theater to share? Let us know in the comments section!