Entrepreneur Matthew Viragh approached David Pfeffer, Chair of Tarter Krinsky & Drogin’s Construction Practice, for legal and business counsel relating to a new and unique cinema to be opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Mr. Viragh wanted to develop a state-of-the-art entertainment facility that showed a movie, served meals prepared by a Michelin-rated chef and offered sophisticated cocktails tailored to the film’s theme. The entire cinema would be showcased around a movie-themed bar and restaurant. Mr. Viragh did not own any property in Brooklyn and no similar dinner-cinema existed in New York City. To further complicate matters, the law specifically excluded alcoholic beverages from movie theaters.
We believe a fresh approach to business means being able to think smart and unconventionally, as well as embrace new ideas and constructively challenge the status quo. We approached our challenge with Nitehawk Cinema by giving legislators plenty to chew on after proposing licensing changes for movie theaters. Specifically, we worked closely with lobbyists, sponsors and the New York Senate to change the definition of “restaurant” in the New York alcohol beverage law to include a cinema that serves meals. The passage of the law benefits independent theaters and is also filled with economic incentives. Our work on this matter was covered in the Real Estate Weekly article “Lawyers Taste Victory in Movie Star Style.” And on August 21, 2011, New York Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, signed the law into effect. Today, Nitehawk Cinema movie goers enjoy their movie and cocktails too.
"As an entrepreneur, bringing my unique concept for a dinner and movie theater to New York created a unique set of challenges.
Tarter Krinsky & Drogin provided an integrated legal team that understood my vision and developed innovative solutions to make my concept a reality."
Owner, Nitehawk Cinema