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Park Slope’s Pavilion Cinema has finished its long-promised makeover and thorough scrubbing — and the curtain will be up in time for the big blockbuster weekend.
The owners of the 83-year-old moviehouse on Prospect Park West have finished replacing the former dingy purple cloth seats with black patent leather versions, and repainting peeling walls.
And they’ve even brought in that ultimate 1990s convenience: online ticketing.
All that remains is putting the finishing touches on an upstairs café, which will feature “finger foods,” said co-owner Ben Kafash.
“We are committed to making this a better place,” he added, admitting that the renovations were “long overdue.”
The spring cleaning comes just in time for Memorial Day weekend — historically one of the nation’s busiest movie-going periods. It also comes after a tough year for the cinema, which has been plagued by inconsistent heating, broken seats and unsubstantiated bedbug rumors.
But Kafash and his partners — who bought the multiplex from New Jersey-based Cinedigm group last month — say they’re well on the way to morphing a disheveled movie shack into a cinematic wonderland.
Before the makeover, five of nine theaters had chairs from 1996 — the last year the Pavilion was refurbished. Auditorium seven, for example, was especially bad: Six of the 70 chairs were missing seatbacks and about a dozen had rips or stains.
In Park Slope, everyone from snarky bloggers to concerned patrons cringed at the seats (and what was allegedly lurking in their fibers).
“We used to come here a lot,” movie-going South Sloper Dan Kluger said, back in February. “But I’ve found the place has gotten really rundown.”
The new chairs will likely improve theater’s tarnished image: Sleek seats have a cleaner “look,” and are less prone to stains. (They also allow movie-going canoodlers to sit closer together.)
Still under construction is the second-floor café with tables where movie-goers can munch pizza.
A sit-down eatery would bring to fruition a dream held by former owner Norman Adie, who bought the moviehouse in 1993 after two decades of 1970s-style ruin. Adie renovated the place — which had been called The Sanders when it was built in 1928 — and created a full-service restaurant on the second floor that never really took off.
Adie originally opened the Pavilion with three screens. It now has eight.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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