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Williamsburg Cinemas Ready for December Opening, Owner Says

By Meredith Hoffman | November 15, 2012 6:56am

WILLIAMSBURG — The lights, projectors and "rocking-chair" seats are all falling into place — and now Harvey Elgart promises it's time for the action.

The final touches on Williamsburg Cinemas, Elgart's long-planned seven-auditorium movie hub on Grand Street and Driggs Avenue, will wrap up this weekend for the 1,000-seater theater to open in December, he said.

"We were planning on opening Nov. 2...then Sandy hit," said Elgart, the theater's owner and operator.

The Department of Buildings' final inspection of the space has been delayed by post-hurricane demands on the agency's time, Elgart said.

"We were going to start with the 'Life of Pi' and the new James Bond movie," he said. "Now we're shooting for Christmas titles."

Elgart, who already owns Cobble Hill Cinemas and Kew Gardens Cinemas, touted the theater's 3D screens, 7.1 surround sound, "rocking chair seating," and mix of indie and blockbuster movies.

"We'll be showing 'The Hobbit' in 3D," he said of one of the first planned films. 

Elgart said he was not sure when the first day of screenings will be in December — a date already later than his projected opening of summer 2012 — but noted the rewarding moment would follow years of hard work.

"We've been looking to open a theater here for five years," Elgart said.

He pointed to the struggle finding a spot in Williamsburg, considering the "real estate ups-and-downs" since the 2005 rezoning of the neighborhood for residential and commercial use, when property owners scrambled to convert buildings into lucrative luxury condos.

"Then the market crashed, and that's when we finally found our spot," Elgart said of the theater's corner in South Williamsburg.

"It's different from Cobble Hill Cinemas, because Cobble Hill Cinemas is in such an old building," he said. "This is all new."