Actress Julie Dray literally fell in love with the Nitehawk Cinema, Metropolitan Ave, NYC. Besides being her favourite cinema, it also offers a complete restaurant service

Julie Dray: "My favourite cinema is... a restaurant!"
Julie Dray
The Nitehawk Cinema, Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, NY favourite cinema restaurant
The Nitehawk Cinema, Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, NY

My most favourite cinema is the Nitehawk, in Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, which I discovered this summer. I was spending two months in New York sharing my time between the creation of my own show for a new platform and a ground-breaking acting studio. One night, one of my acting partners took me there – and what a phenomenal surprise.

At the time, I didn’t know much about Williamsburg, or how creative or hipster the neighbourhood was. Late, and racing madly through the streets, all of a sudden I found myself in this extraordinarily charming cinema. Its retro-look, impeccable taste, magical atmosphere, its bar and terrace, all made it feel so cinematic.

I wanted to spend my days there, grab drinks and speak about movies with an audience that seemed even as fascinating as the place itself. In fact they seemed young, artistic, educated and charismatic. But then…

Then came the real surprise

When we went to our screening room, I saw something I’d never seen before: each seat had its own small table. A very specific table. Under it, you had discreet lights. To the side, were paper menus and pencils while, on top, some cup-holders, also coils… where you slip your order in for dinner. It was all a bit like mini-golf!

All you had to do was to check what you wanted from the menus and slip them on your coils which could be before or any time during the film. I found the system smooth, discreet and perfectly reliable. Waiters were in attendance in the aisle. As soon as they saw a paper rise, they’d swoop-in with grace and pick it up. Most conveniently, you paid after the film.

Even the food was amazing

Being French, I’m a big foodie, of course, besides being a vegetarian. But not only were there some seriously sexy burgers on the menu – even for an activist like me. There were also quesadillas and refined cheese plates, and healthy options like kale salad, sprouts, and vegan dishes, which maybe were gluten-free, too. All that, with exquisite wine or a tequila.

The food was superb! No surprise, really, as I learned afterwards that the place actually started out as a restaurant and, following extension, was also granted a cinema licence.

So, yes, the food was remarkable, with the kind of emblematic dishes we all like, as well as being super-cheap. They also pair food and drinks with each specific film, which is a really innovative idea. And the tickets were also reasonably priced, way less expensive than, say, at a London multiplex.

The seats were very comfortable and, above all, the movie-selection I have to say was impressive – the Nitehawk screens striking and exciting independent films. What a prodigious place.

Julie Dray – of “Breaking The Bank”, “Crashing”, “Cradle To Grave” and “Back” fame – is currently starring in “Base”, which hit UK cinemas in October, and is now available, worldwide, on iTunes as well as on-demand.


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