As of this morning, the beloved Pavilion is officially no more. Even visiting the Park Slope movie theater’s website early this morning turned up a ghostly message in washed-out grey: “http://www.paviliontheater.com/ has been disabled.”
It’s only appropriate, given that Nitehawk cinemas–the proud new owners of the ratty old Art Deco theater that’s been in decline for several years now– threw a proper New Orleans-style jazz funeral for the place.
By all accounts the Pavilion was sort of a dump that “smelled faintly of a sewer,” according to one Yelp review–but it was our old dump, was the attitude. Knowing their audience, Nitehawk made good on the takeover by throwing a come-one-come-all goodbye party last night, complete with Brooklyn-made beer and wine and enough free popcorn for every last boy and girl. Neighbors and fans crammed into the Pavilion to get a final sniff of the hallowed theater (vague mildew smells be damned).
There were prayer candles embossed with the Pavilion’s attractive likeness and an open house vibe thanks to a free screening of Annie on the third floor and arcade games a-blaring on the second. The atmosphere was festive, and sort of melancholy, like any good funeral should be.
It was a nice gesture for a neighborhood that will have to wait a whole year to take advantage of the $10 million makeover that will transform the Pavilion from ratchet to ravishing, with the addition of two bars, two kitchens, seven updated theaters with 650 seats all told.
Once the new makeover is complete, the theater should give the new Alamo Drafthouse a run for its money and moviegoers might not feel so compelled to pack up their BugOff seat covers. Unless of course you’re this dude, in which case you’ll just have to find some place else to watch a movie with those tenacious lil critters.