Since I’ve been primarily blathering on about movies lately (as opposed to what I normally do?), I may as well tell you more about my current obsession: Nitehawk Cinema. I often “joke” about how I moved to NYC for the movie theaters, and Nitehawk Cinema was at the top of my incentive list. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it there right away — it was several months before I managed to get to Williamsburg and check it out firsthand . Not having a job will limit your entertainment options.
Eventually, however, I did get a job, and — no lie — the week I started, I finally took the long-ass ride on the G train to Metropolitan Ave to check out Under the Skin at Nitehawk, and my life hasn’t been the same since. What’s so special about Nitehawk, you ask? Oh, nerds, where to I begin? Unlike your normal (read: terrible) multiplex that offers stale, overpriced popcorn and shitty blockbusters, Nitehawk shows a mix of amazing first run independent movies and well programmed repertory options — usually as weekend midnight and brunch showings.
Yes, “brunch.” That’s one of the other things that makes Nitehawk so unlike your standard (read: awful) movie theater: They serve a full menu of amazing foods — everything from hamburgers to fish tacos — alongside the more standard movie theater fare like popcorn (options include truffle butter and citric salt) and some really tasty sounding chocolate bars that I keep meaning to try. Seriously, the food is so good, I would go there just to get the burger even if there were no movies. Even better, the theater’s ace servers actually come around and bring you your food and drinks during the movie. It sounds like it would be distracting, but it’s not at all: you just write down your order on a scrap of paper, stick it in a holder on the table next to your seat, and before you know it, there’s bread pudding in front of you. Nitehawk’s servers are like goddamn ninjas — they slide up and down the aisle without you even noticing, and they’ll even stand off to the side and wait if it’s a particularly important moment in the movie.
Oh, and I didn’t even mention the best part of this whole experience: alcohol! Nitehawk serves a full selection of draft and canned beers, wine, and liquor (including awesome movie themed drinks like The Driver — Gosling’s Rum and Gosling’s Ginger Beer, natch) that the Server Ninjas will bring to you while you watch Snowpiercer and yell at Chris Evans to look out for that one guy with an ax. Plus there’s a bar in the lobby as well as a proper downstairs bar where you can chill after the movie with a cocktail. Even cooler, Nitehawk actually got the state liquor laws changed. According to their website “Setting a historical precedent, Nitehawk Cinema is single-handedly responsible for the groundbreaking overturn of the prohibition-era New York State liquor law that made serving alcohol in motion picture theaters illegal.”
Guys, seriously, this place is ridiculous: I haven’t even talked about their amazing custom preshows. When I saw Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom for brunch over the summer, the preshow was full of old Lucas/Spielberg interview clips, Kenner toy commercials, trailers for Star Wars and Star Trek II…apparently I turned to my friend Roberta at one point and exclaimed, “It’s like we’re inside of my head!” although I don’t really remember this because I was too busy freaking out about some vintage Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Diet Coke commerical.
Obsessed seems like a strong word, but I also think it’s the most fitting one. I’ve actually been getting twitchy lately because I haven’t been to Nitehawk since August and I’m desperate to go there to see anything. That’s how much I love Nitehawk — I’ll pretty much go and watch whatever the hell they’re playing just for the experience. In fact, fuck this: I’m going there now. I desperately need tater tots.