We were very sad to hear that Michael Halkias, owner of Brooklyn's iconic, opulent event space Grand Prospect Hall, died on Wednesday (5/6). He was 82. Greek news site Anamniseis confirmed the sad news; the article was in Greek but on Facebook they wrote, translated, "Gentleman, businessman, benevolent and lover of Greek education Michalis Halkias was defeated by korōnoïó [COVID-19]." New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes tweeted last night, "Really saddened to hear that Michael Halkias, owner of The Grand Prospect Hall, passed away. He was a man with big vision and an even bigger heart. And of course, he made dreams come true for thousands of people who celebrated at his hall. May his memory be eternal."
Most New Yorkers know Halkias from Grand Prospect Hall's equally iconic local TV commercials where he and his wife, Alice, proclaimed "We make your dreams come true." (SNL and Jimmy Kimmel Live have lovingly parodied them over the years.) The Halkias purchased the turn-of-the palace in 1981 and opened in 1985. In addition to weddings and other celebratory occasions, Grand Prospect Hall has hosted concerts over the years as well: Arcade Fire celebrated the release of Everything Now there in 2017 and Hot Tuna played there earlier that same year; DFA held their 12th anniversary blowout there in 2013; and many editions of the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival have been held there over the years. It's also been a location for 30 Rock, Gossip Girl, The Cotton Club, Prizzi’s Honor, The Royal Tenenbaums and other film and TV productions.
Rest in peace, Michael. We'll see you in our dreams. Watch a few of Grand Prospect Hall's commercials from over the years, and a gallery of photos from the Arcade Fire show, below.