Michael Halkias, the owner of the iconic Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, New York, has passed away from Covid-19.
Halkias was a New York institution– his commercial for his venue played endlessly on New York television stations throughout the 1980s and 90s.
His familiar accent had become a mainstay in Big Apple culture, so much so that Saturday Night Live even spoofed it in a spot.
In addition to being the go-to wedding venue for thousands of couples over the years, the hall was a familiar set for dozens of television and film productions.
The kitschy ornate hall was used in a number of television shows and films, including Frances Ford Coppola’s Cotton Club; John Huston’s Prizzi’s Honor, and Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums.
Gregory Hines tap-danced along the birds-eye maple parquet floors and marble staircase and Jack Nicholson eyed Angelica Huston while dancing with Kathleen Turner in the ballroom wedding scene. Gene Hackman and Gwyneth Paltrow dined together on ice cream by the doors to the Grand Ballroom.
Tributes to the man poured in from all over, including dozens of brides who saw their “dreams come true” on their wedding nights at the banquet hall.
Halkias always finished his commercial with the slogan “We make your dreams come true!”
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes remembered Halkias on his Twitter page, calling Halkias “A man with big vision and an even bigger heart,” Gounardes wrote. “And of course, he made dreams come true for thousands of people who celebrated at his hall. May his memory be eternal.”
Halkias was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1937 to a Greek immigrant father from the island of Chios and an American mother. At the age of two, his father returned to Greece where Michael stayed until he was 18 when he, himself re-immigrated to the United States.
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