Nitehawk Cinema Announces Official Relaunch, New Programming Team Ft. Cristina Cacioppo (Alamo Drafthouse) + Desmond Thorne (NewFest)

Nitehawk Cinema announces today their official relaunch following their closure due to the pandemic. The relaunch, occurring at both Nitehawk locations of Williamsburg and Prospect Park, will feature the return of beloved film series, as well as the debut of new and exciting ones, as well as film festivals, and all manner of first-run indies. 

It goes without saying that Nitehawk will take every precaution to keep customers safe during these unprecedented times, including requiring customers to provide proof of vaccination before entry. Children under 12 will still be admitted but must wear a mask, though they can remove it once seated with food and drinks. Face masks are also required at all times unless seated for eating and drinking; Nitehawk staff will wear masks at all times and are following strict protocols. For full information on COVID-19 precautions being taken, please visit here

“It’s both surreal and exciting to be back,” says Nitehawk’s Director of Programming and Acquisitions, John Woods. “I feel like the time away has given us all a new and energized focus. We’ll continue to expand the scope of our repertory programs and live screening events celebrating all the talented and passionate individuals making feature and short films as well as music videos and documentaries. We have a lot of great things planned and can’t wait to share them with everyone.” 

This relaunch is highlighted by the hiring of two new programmers to join Woods in achieving his overall vision for the theater: Cristina Cacioppo and Desmond Thorne. Both Cacioppo and Thorne bring with them diverse film tastes and rich histories of programming prowess to both theater locations. Cacioppo most recently programmed for the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in Downtown Brooklyn, where she oversaw the repertory programming and spearheaded new film series and events. She has been a film programmer in NYC for the past two decades, having previously headed up the 92nd Street Y’s Tribeca film program. She is the co-director of the New York Branch of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, has an ongoing column, “The Outskirts,” for Screen Slate, and has written on occasion for MUBI. Thorne worked on the Programming Team at NewFest: NY’s LGBTQ Film Festival for three years, as both a festival programmer and a consultant for their year-round programming. Thorne is also a filmmaker and host of the Amanda Seales-produced podcast, “Adventures in Black Cinema.”

“Joining the Nitehawk team has me in such incredible company. The alchemy of Desmond, John, and my distinct tastes melds together perfectly, and we’ve only just gotten started,” says Cacioppo of the new collaboration.

Thorne adds, “I am so thrilled to be Programming at Nitehawk and honored to be working with Cristina and John! The three of us collaborating together has been such a joy and I can’t wait to unleash our mutual brilliance on to the cinema audiences of NYC.”

Nitehawk Cinema boasts the return of some of their beloved series and film festivals, as well as the debuts of a few new ones. Mainstay series include ‘Anniversary Party’ (screening films on the anniversary of their theatrical release) which will feature the 20th anniversary screening of the film that inspired the series name, THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY, followed by a Q&A with co-director/star Alan Cumming, ‘In Case You Missed It 2020’ (films that might have slipped under your radar during COVID),  and ‘Weekends with Wes’ (a brunch journey through the oeuvre of Wes Anderson). Many of the theater’s original series will return as well, including ‘Live Sound Cinema’ (your favorite films with a live-orchestra soundtrack), ‘Music Driven’ (the latest music-focused features and bonafide classics),  ‘Spoons, Toons & Booze’ (your favorite cartoons with an all-you-can-eat cereal bar), ‘No Budge’ (a partnership with the streaming platform, bringing focus to emerging filmmakers), and ‘Future of Film is Female’ (a partnership with the non-profit organization that amplifies the work of all women and non-binary filmmakers).

The new programmers bring with them fresh, new monthly series including ‘Re-Consider This!,’ a series that begs the audience to “reconsider” films that were considered “bad” upon release. Upcoming screenings include GOTHIKA (35mm), JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS and THE FAMILY STONE (35mm). There will also be ‘Adventures in Black Cinema,’ a series coinciding with Thorne’s podcast of the same name. Upcoming titles include TALES FROM THE HOOD, SOUL FOOD (35mm), and THE PREACHER’S WIFE (35mm). There will also be the new series ‘nostalgia, ULTRA.’ throwing it back to your favorite childhood movies from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and early aughts. Upcoming titles include THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1991), WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT (35mm), and HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (2000). 

Rounding out the new series are ‘Nitehawk Diaries,’ an erotic thriller series kicking off with the Mark Wahlberg/Reese Withespoon rollercoaster ride FEAR,  followed by a steamy Antonio Banderas and Rebecca de Mornay in NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS, and then the Alec Baldwin/Nicole Kidman/Bill Pullman trio in MALICE. Each screening includes a game of “Erotic Thriller Tropes Bingo.” There will also be the ‘Recent Restorations’ series, featuring Marcell Jankovics’ animated classic SON OF THE WHITE MARE in September and Paul Morrissey’s BLOOD FOR DRACULA in October.

Film festivals will once again grace the Nitehawk Theater screens, with the Williamsburg location hosting the Brooklyn Horror Festival from October 14-21 and the Prospect Park location hosting NewFest from October 16-24. The Nitehawk Shorts Festival is also set to return from March 2-6, 2022, with submissions opening up September 20, 2021. 

Announcements in regard to the updated food and drink programs will be made in the coming weeks! For more information, visit the Nitehawk Cinema site HERE.

About Nitehawk Cinema
Nitehawk Cinema is New York’s premier dine-in theater, pairing exemplary first-run and repertory film programming along with tableside food and beverage service. Our original Williamsburg location opened in 2011, while our Prospect Park opened in December 2018.

Nitehawk strives to enhance the cinematic experience with a creative framework by providing a specialty menu with fresh, local ingredients inspired by the films we love; archival 35mm projection; and special guest Q&As.

About John Woods
Nitehawk’s Director of Programming and Acquisitions has been involved in music and filmmaking for nearly 30 years. John was also the cofounder and owner of the Reel Life video stores throughout Brooklyn, with the first location opening on Bedford Avenue in 1997. Much like the video store curation, John approaches film and live event programming by making it as inclusive and populist as possible (with a healthy bit of subversion)—or as he believes, “Everyone’s taste is valid.” John’s most recently released feature-length film is NEW BREED DOCUMENTARY 1989.

About Cristina Cacioppo
Cristina Cacioppo has been a film programmer for two decades, heading up the 92nd Street Y’s Tribeca film program and more recently the Alamo Drafthouse’s Brooklyn location. She is the co-director of the New York Branch of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, has an ongoing column, “The Outskirts,” for Screen Slate, and has written on occasion for MUBI. 

About Desmond Thorne
Desmond Thorne worked on the Programming Team at NewFest: NY’s LGBTQ Film Festival for three years, as the Programming Coordinator, as well as a Festival Programmer, and Programming Consultant for their year round programming. He is so thrilled to join the Programming Team at Nitehawk, and carry on the torch for excellent programming at the theater after serving at the Prospect Park location since it’s opening in 2018. Desmond is also a filmmaker and host of the Amanda Seales-produced podcast, “Adventures in Black Cinema.”

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