Wednesday, April 22, 2015


The Pavilion is going to close. It will be torn down and apartments will be built--or it won't be torn down but it will get converted to apartments.

In either case, the property that the theater is on, or the property that the one-story building next to it (formerly Circles restaurant) is on, or both properties will be the site of a six-story luxury residential building with twenty-four condominiums as well as a retail space, a theater, and a 16-car parking garage.

The theater is located on Prospect Park West, between 14th and 15th streets (Block 1103, Lot 37).  Lot 37 (187-191 Prospect Park West) is being merged or reapportioned with Lot 42 (192 Prospect Park West). It lies within the Park Slope Historic District, a national historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The application filed today with the Department of Buildings states that it's for a new building.

  • Job types: New Building
  • Enlargement proposed? No
  • Facade alteration? No
  • Filing includes Lot Merger / Reapportionment:   Yes
  • Quality Housing: Yes
  • Landmark:   Yes
  • Enclosed Parking?   Yes
  • No. of parking spaces:  16

The owner is Hidrock Realty.The architect is Morris Adjmi Architects.

A little history of the theater:
In my earliest memory, I am five years old, coming home from the Sanders Theater in Brooklyn. I am with my mother and we have just seen The Wizard of Oz. The year is 1940. In the safe darkness of the movie house I’ve seen emerald castles and a lion that talked and a road made of glistening yellow bricks. But in memory all of that is a blur. In memory, my mother takes my hand and the two of us are skipping all the way home singing “because because because because because!”   Pete Hamill
The Sanders Theater opened in 1928, under the ownership of The 15th Street Amusement Company. It was named for its owners, Harry and Rudolph Sanders. Prior to that, the Marathon Theater, a nickelodeon also owned and operated by Harry and Rudolph Sanders (1908 to 1927), stood on that spot. When the Marathon was torn down, the Sanders was built.

The once-vibrant Sanders laid empty from 1978 to 1996, to the despair of its neighbors. Would it become a co-op? Would it become stores? In 1996, it became the Pavilion Theater, owned by Norman Adie and John and Phil Castaldi.

Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. acquired the Pavilion from Pritchard Square Cinema in February 2005. They used the nine-screen digital theater as a digital cinema test site and a showcase for its integrated digital cinema technology.

Hidrock Realty bought the theater's property and the property next to it (192 PPW) in 2006. In 2010, Cinedigm stated that they didn't need to use the Pavilion for that purpose anymore because the technology had been widely adopted. In the first quarter of 2010, they decided that they would sell the theater. In June 2010, they classified it as a "discontinued operation."

See "Cinema Treasures" for some history of the theater based on contributors' recollections.