Mar 8, 2021
Borough’s indie cinemas take different approaches to re-opening
New York's movie houses have opened back up for indoor viewing at 25 percent capacity, and different theaters are taking different tacks
Brooklyn cinephiles have been celebrating the return of the borough’s favorite movie theaters: All of New York’s movie houses were green-lit for reopening on March 5 at 25 percent capacity and with a maximum of 50 people per audience.
Like any industry’s reopening, the borough’s indie theaters have different approaches—though masks are required across the board (when attendees aren’t chowing down on popcorn or other concessions).
Nitehawk Cinema, the dine-in theater with locations in Prospect Park and Williamsburg, had reopened as a restaurant already and is now open for films now.
“There’s been a lot of doom and gloom over the past year regarding our industry, and, honestly, it got very ugly. I know a lot of great theaters may not make it to the other side,” Matthew Viragh, Nitehawk’s founder, tells Curbed. “But we’re geared toward competing against streaming because we offer a much different experience than what you get at home.”
Alamo Drafthouse, another dine-in theater in Downtown Brooklyn, has less certain plans. No set date is in store, and the company recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The New York Times reported that BAM’s beloved theater didn’t have a set reopening date either.
Cobble Hills Cinemas doesn’t have any upcoming dates on their website either, and reportedly had to lay off their staff.
“We’re ready at any time,” said Andrew Elgart, who works in management at Cobble Hills Cinema, to the Red Hook Star Revue on February 13. “We’re hoping that people are just as eager to come back. The cinematic experience is not something that can be replicated at home.”
Brooklyn Magazine’s attempts to reach out had gone unanswered by the time of writing.
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