Dinner and a movie in Williamsburg just got a whole lot easier.
Nitehawk Cinemas gripped Williamsburg cineastes in its talons during its soaring opening this weekend — the first time a multi-screen theater has shown films in Williamsburg since 2002.
But remarkably, it’s the first moviehouse in New York City where you can have a three-course meal served by an attentive wait staff while you watch your favorite flick.
Owner Matthew Viragh believes his dinner-and-a-movie concept will draw Brooklyn’s demanding cinephiles in droves.
“The idea is that you don’t have to run around to find a place to eat before watching your film — you can just come here,” said Viragh, whose theater will screen mostly independent releases.
The three-screen cinema occupies two stories of a five-story Metropolitan Avenue condominium building two blocks from the East River; its café, replete with vintage fixtures and leathery red bar stools, beckons moviegoers from the street.
Customers pay for tickets upstairs at another bar where they can order drinks such as the Alan Partridge (lemon juice, Pimm’s and cucumber juice) or Amores Perros (tequila, agave syrup, lime and grapefruit juice), before the staff directs them to their theater.
This month, the theater is showing “Submarine,” “The Trip,” and Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” in its 28-, 60-, and 90-seat theaters, respectively. All shows are 7 pm, but diners enter 45 minutes before showtime.
Once inside, movie watchers place their food orders from celebrity chef Saul Bolton’s menu, which includes homemade cheese empanadas ($6), watermelon jicama salad ($10), black beans with Mexican cheese ($6.50) fish tacos, mini corn dogs ($6), butter nutters ($6), and a special buttery popcorn of the day ($5).
And if hunger strikes during the film, moviegoers can scratch out an order on a piece of paper and leave it on their seat for an attentive waiter to snatch up and deliver while the movie is still playing.
The only thing customers can’t do is sip alcoholic drinks inside the theater, thanks to stringent state liquor laws.
But that barely mattered to the theater’s first wave of customers, who gave Nitehawk rave reviews.
“This has been a nice, calm enjoyable experience — whoever thought of this idea, it’s brilliant,” said David, a Williamsburg resident who declined to give his last name. “My wife and I are very glad we came here.”
Comforted by a smooth opening weekend, Viragh hopes to expand showtimes during the day on the weekends and rent out his theater to production companies and for special events during the week.
For now, he’s planning on spending every night at the movies.
“We’re open seven days a week — and I’ll be here,” said Viragh. “This is a dream come true for me.”
Nitehawk Cinema [136 Metropolitan Ave. at Berry Street in Williamsburg, (718) 384-3980] Open 7 pm–2 am. For info, visit www.niteha
©2011 Community News Group
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