North Brooklyn is finally getting the movie theater it has so desperately needed. The much-anticipated Nitehawk Cinemas on Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, has its soft opening tonight, Gothamist reports, with Midnight in Paris, Submarine and The Trip. It's part of a wave of theaters coming to the area (including IndieScreen, which opened last summer, and the multiplex Williamsburg Cinema slated to open next year) whose burgeoning creative class has previously had to trek into Manhattan for the big-screen.
The theater features a full-service restaurant on the first floor where Brooklyn chef Saul Bolton offers up entrees including burgers, fish tacos and BBQ Pork Belly steamed buns with "a spicy hoisin sauce." Two of the three screening spaces have dining tables between every pair of seats (see pic below), along with waiter service. according to the Village Voice, and you can enjoy unique concessions like the Nitehawk Queso with black beans, chorizo, guacamole and tortilla chips; homemade jerky; a "Nutter Butter" sandwich with peanut butter, honey, sea salt, and pretzels; and obviously, some hot buttered popcorn.
Curbed is excited about the zany zinc exterior of the converted warehouse, covered in a constellation of LED lights, and the Wall Street Journal drools over the "nostalgia-laden aesthetic so prevalent in the speakeasy revival of recent years".
And it's a nostalgia for good reason. In decades past, Williamsburg was home to a slew of now vanished theaters, WNYC uncovers, and Nitehawk cinema director, John Woods, told WNYC he was inspired in part by the Commodore, a once-grand movie house built nearby in 1922.
“The Commodore was a unique experience where you could do pretty much what you wanted in the theater,” Woods said. “You couldn’t see the movie really or hear it, but anything else was allowed. Sex, drugs, a lot of alcohol, a lot of interaction with the screen.”
And although it's unclear it Nitehawk will become the venue for that kind of decadence, it's already clear it will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
The whole WNYC interview with Woods, which also details some of the neighborhood's fascinating history, is well worth a listen below.
Nitehawk Cinemas is located 136 Metropolitan Ave between Berry and Wythe, near the Bedford stop on the L train and not too far from the South Williamsburg dock of the brand new East River ferry.The WNYC report: .