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Rock band releases album at Slope’s gilded Grand Prospect Hall

Making dreams come true: The owners of Park Slope’s Grand Prospect Hall, on Prospect Avenue between Fifth and Sixth avenues, have started to host concerts at the ornate venue in order to pay for rising property taxes.
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Arcade Fire is making their dreams come true!

The rock band is performing a July 27 album release show at Park Slope’s Grand Prospect Hall — the ornate venue known for its slogan, “We make your dreams come true!” — fulfilling the wildest wishes of the space’s owners, who said they hope to give the musicians a night to remember in return.

“They are making my dreams come true so why shouldn’t we make theirs?” said Michael Halkias, who co-owns the 104-year-old hall on Prospect Avenue between Fifth and Sixth avenues with his wife Alice, the woman who utters the catchphrase in the venue’s storied commercials.

The Canadian outfit will take over Grand Prospect Hall’s gilded grand ballroom to celebrate the release of its new album, “Everything Now,” with a show that will be livestreamed on Apple Music.

The opulent four-story, 16-room venue usually hosts weddings and parties, but recently branched out to accommodate concerts and festivals to help pay the property’s rising real estate taxes, Halkias said. Past big name guests of the gold leaf-adorned site include old-school blues band Hot Tuna and electronica duo Infected Mushroom.

And after seeing the over-the-top space, reps for Arcade Fire wanted to get in on the action too, according to Halkias, who said he couldn’t blame them.

“Everybody knows that I do events so they called me and said ‘I love your place.’ I said ‘Thanks, I love it too,’ ” he said.

The hall will hold between 1,000 and 1,500 fans, who applied for the coveted concert tickets by answering the question, “What do you like about the first single from the new album?”

Arcade Fire sent out a message to attendees on July 24 instructing them that there will be a “hip and trendy” dress code for the occasion, with no flip-flops, crop tops, and phones allowed.

Putting on big concerts is different than preparing for lavish weddings — where everything is “glass, glass, glass,” according to Halkias — but the owner said he doesn’t prefer one to the other and has a blast watching young people rock out under the chandeliers.

“I enjoy whatever I do,” he said. “As long as people are happy, I’m enjoying it.”

But not everyone is having fun with the hall’s new clientele. Some neighbors have complained about concert-goers taking parking spots and swarming area streets after gigs, according to Halkias, who said he wished that the big events he has taken on to keep his business afloat didn’t upset locals.

The owner listens to every band that wants to play his venue to make sure groups are befitting of the space, and said Arcade Fire is “great.”

Superfans hoping to secure a concert ticket are flooding Grand Prospect Hall’s phone lines ahead of the July 27 show, according to Halkias, who said one man is planning to drive up from Florida to attend.

“People are going crazy to find tickets,” he said. “It’s going to be spectacular.”

Reps for Arcade Fire did not return a request for comment.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 3:15 pm, July 25, 2017
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