We were saddened to hear of the passing of Michael Halkias, owner of Grand Prospect Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn, a catering hall and event venue that was once featured in the film The Royal Tenenbaums. Mr. Halkias personally led the tour of Grand Prospect Hall for our Untapped New York Insiders last summer. He had a personality that was as grand and vibrant as the historic hall he ran. Halkias died at the age of 82 due to complications from COVID-19.

Tour of Grand Prospect Hall

When our group of Insiders visited Grand Prospect Hall, Mr. Halkias enthusiastically showed us around all of the eclectic ballrooms where he helped New Yorkers’ dreams come true for decades. Mr. Halkias spent more than thirty years lovingly restoring and caring for the hall. His passion for the venue, as well as sharing it with others, was evident as he showed us the space.

Tour of Grand Prospect Hall with Michael Halkias

While revealing the history of the former vaudeville theater, Mr. Halkias shared fascinating stories of its restoration with first-hand knowledge that we’resure we wouldn’t have been able to get from anyone else. He had an anecdote for every little detail of the space. He pointed out original features, like the bottle bottom glass windows in the Oak Room, and pieces that he salvaged from various places around the city.

Tour of Grand Prospect Hall with Michael Halkias

Mr. Halkias worked hard to restore the hall’s historic brilliance, but he also wasn’t afraid to make it his own. At the end of the tour we even got to pose with Mr. Halkias on the hall’s iconic marble staircase. He was a one-of-a-kind New Yorker and he gave us a one-of-a-kind New York experience.

Tour of Grand Prospect Hall with Michael Halkias

Numerous Untapped New York Insiders posted tributes to Mr. Halkias, which we are sharing with you today, along with never-before-published photographs from our tour inside the space.

“He was one the most memorable New York ‘characters’ with an encyclopedic knowledge, great passion, and a thoroughly engaging personality”  – Marcy Davis

“I just remember how enthusiastic he was about showing us the space he was clearly so proud of and how much he enjoyed helping people celebrate the important events in their lives. He clearly had a big heart and a great sense of humor.” – Violeta Arcineiga

“I feel so lucky that I got to meet and spend time with him along Untapped New York’s Insiders on a special tour he gave us of his life’s work in Grand Prospect Hall. It’s so sad to hear of his passing and my condolences go out to his family and friends.” – Nicole Saraniero, Untapped New York.

Next, check out 12 of NYC’s historic ballrooms.