Pavilion Theater Under New Ownership

Could there be brighter days ahead for the much-lamented movie house?

Park Slope may once again have a local movie theater that people won’t be too skeeved out to go to.

Former corporate owners Cinedigm recently announced that it has sold the Park Slope Pavilion to new operators.

“We found a local buyer who was interested in making an investment in the theater — refurbishing it — so it just made sense,” said Jill Calcaterra, the Chief Marketing Officer for Cinedigm.

The Morristown, NJ-based digital cinema company had purchased the Pavilion, located on Prospect Park West, in February 2005.

The one-time movie palace, still striking for its 1928 Moorish-style architecture, has fallen into a sad state of disrepair over the last few years. Frustrated moviegoers have long complained of funny smells and stained carpets as well as broken seats and torn upholstery, and persistent rumors of bedbugs have haunted the theater.

Last February, two of the theater managers even for the Pavilion’s sorry state to Park Slope Parents, claiming that they had been requesting repairs from their corporate bosses but received no aid. Cinedigm responded by promising that repairs were on the way.

“We are definitely in the process of making some big changes here,” Calcaterra in February. 

It looks like those changes include more than just the refurbishment.

A woman working at the box office on Thursday said that the new owners had taken over about a month ago and were already in the process of fixing things up, a happy development noted earlier this week by blog Effed in Park Slope.

The box office attendant said that the Pavilion will remain open during the overhaul, with individual theaters closing as needed to accommodate repairs.

“We are getting new seats, new carpets, new paint,” said a rep for the new owners, which he identified as Park Slope Pavilion 9 LLC. “We’re also seeking in the community right now a perfect match to re-open the cafe.”

In addition to maintaining the current programming, the rep said they intend to eventually screen operas, concerts, art movies,"anything that makes sense to the community."

robin maltz May 14, 2011 at 11:32 AM
How about not charging premium + prices while the theater is in such a sorry state.
Steve LeVine May 14, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Robin- nice thought, but that ship has sailed. Of course, prices will probably go up after the refresh. It would be nice if they added a Fandango pickup kiosk.
Gary Hoopengardner May 14, 2011 at 03:21 PM
You know what? You or better said we are so very fortunate to have business people interested in up-grading the movie house. Some people just like to complain, complain and complain. I salute this group for wanting to keep the theatre open and up dated. I will support it and tell my friends anf if the ticket prices go up, ( not alot ) then I will pay the price. After all the theatre is in Park Slope and I will not have to spend money & time on the subway. Let's give support and re-opening the Cafe is a great idea. In fact maybe their could be live musical entertainment and comedians in between or after the shows. Hoop
Susan Desocio May 16, 2011 at 05:49 AM
Hows about makinmg it affordable. The other day I took my 10 years old granddaughter to see one of these new 3=D movies. We take car service there due to my 3 illnesses, but walk home becasue it's downhill.One way car service, 2 entrance tickets, nachos and water, close to 75.00. Back in the day (1960's). each local store was given 2 free passes and we children ran likle maniacs trying to get the free tickets. (of couse local cliques would receive those tickets every week) Why can't thoses stupid 3-D glasses be re=usable? Why is there a barrel to discard them in ? What abpit neromg green and re-using them? Why are the bathrooms filthy, while masses of teenaged workers stand around shooting the breeze? I'd rather have my gramnddaughter walk the wall to the 11st.playground (not Harmony Playgrounmd) and enjoy an affordable picnic, clean air and basic children's fun. I pity the family wioth 2,3,or 4 kids, because I wonder what the have to hock or pawn to get into a so-so movie. Don t get me started on major league baskeball games. Susan DeSocio (longtime Brooklyn broad)
Elena Paperny May 16, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Thank goodness, it's more than about time! I called the Assistant Manager to complain last year about the broken and taped seats, and he was as frustrated as I with Cinedigm's response. Hoping to see this beautiful landmark looking even more so; refreshed and refurbished. Here's a suggestion to throw out there to the new management to consider physically-challenged and handicapped people like my friend who can't climb all those stairs to the topmost theatre: how about installing an elevator, if possible? Thank you.
Carolyn May 16, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Two weekends ago I bought two tickets to see "Water for Elephants" at The Pavillion. My partner and I walked into the theater and proceeded to sit down on the most disgustingly filthy gross seats. The upholstery was torn and stained and the entire theater stank. The floor looked as if it had never been cleaned. We both looked at each other and said "let's get our money back and get out of here immediately" ! We hadn't even been in the theater more than 5 minutes. I then went straight to the box office and made a complaint about the state of the theater and that I wanted my money back. The woman in the box office grimaced and said that she would have to talk to her manager. I said, 'you do that'. At that point the owner, not the manager came out of his office and said that the policy of the theater was no refunds. I said 'you've got to be kidding me, have you seen the state of your theater"? He argued with me for 10 minutes telling me that I was imaging that the theater was dirty and that he refused to reimburse me. I then made a huge scene basically telling him that I would not leave until he gave me a refund. Finally he relented after telling me that he had just bought the theater and that he knew that the theater needed work and that he was in the process of making those changes. While he and I argued he belittled me as well as belittling his staff. He was arrogant and disrespectful. I will NEVER go back to The Pavillion. I will be taking the train to Court Street.
ute May 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM
I am just happy that someone is taking the effort to repair instead of coming in and take it all down. I hope they will get their cafe back and a breakfast nook. It was absolutely fabulous when we just moved here over ten years ago. They had music and fab food and it was clean and the place to go. I will def. support the new owners and try to make it work this time. As for pricing, they most likely will do some sort of opening stunt with half price tickets on wednesday or special priced matinees .... Good Karma may change the minds of the disappointed and make it a fun and vibrant to go to location again.
virginia May 17, 2011 at 02:25 PM
In the event there are still bedbug issues I offer a "green" cedar based spray that will suffocate the bugs and the eggs. Proven to be 100% effective (reports available on request). Will not stain fabrics. Stay safe and bug free 4 oz size available ...take it with you and spray the seat before sitting. virginiaw@mmspestcontrolcenter.com
dan sciannameo May 17, 2011 at 03:04 PM
The old Sanders Theatre. It was in a sorry state in the 1960's. And it had one of the meanest old lady matrons in the business.
Denise Markees May 17, 2011 at 03:08 PM
They already brought in the new seats in 2 of the theaters on the first floor. I like them..Real leather and they even reupholstered the walls in like a lipstick red...Oh and yes they are rocker seats so VERY comfortable. I was there one day and they where getting digital menu Boards, Stay tuned for that. There seems to be something going on with the cafe upstairs i've heard many rumors about opening it up right by the summer. As for the new owner, I say Thank You from the Bottom Of my heart. I take my children to this theater and now we look forward to the theater Experience. It was very nice to see someone who cares about the neighborhood.
Susan Desocio May 18, 2011 at 02:00 AM
Do you recall the maton's name? Does anyone reember the black matron from 11th Street Playground?
Ericka Patten May 22, 2011 at 03:25 PM
Glad the theater is under new ownership. Hope that permanent signage - listing where movies are playing - is part of the re-furb plan. Emphasis on PERMANENT. Computer print outs posted on the theater doors are pretty lame and not really helpful if the teen taking your ticket tells you the wrong way to go.
Peter Loffredo December 19, 2011 at 10:09 PM
The last two times I went to the Pavillion, there was no heat in the theater and my duaghter and I had to wear our coats to watch the movie. The carpet are worn, the seats are broken, the staff is indifferent at best, if not hostile. The bathrooms, the popcorn and snacks, from top to bottom, this is the worst theater I have ever been to.
Peter Loffredo December 19, 2011 at 10:12 PM
The last two times I went to the Pavillion, there was no heat in the theater and my daughter and I had to wear our coats to watch the movie. The carpets are worn, the seats are broken, the staff is indifferent at best, if not hostile. The bathrooms, the popcorn and snacks, from top to bottom, this is the worst theater I have ever been to.
Gary Hoopengardner December 19, 2011 at 11:40 PM
It seems to be taking some time for the new owners to get the remodeling to happen. Patience everyone!
mhorine1 December 20, 2011 at 08:43 PM
Filthy theater, pervasive smell of pot, sullen staff...I don't get it. It's a completely unpleasant experience.


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