After a push & pull tug of war throughout 2012, it appears the beloved Brooklyn Heights Cinema building at 70 Henry Street is about to meet the wrecking ball, after all. But there’s hope: Plans call for a movie theater on the ground level of the new structure to be built on the site.
BHB Top 10 2011 honoree and Cinema owner Kenn Lowy—who wrote this guest post in January—said then that his lease runs until June 30. According to a Brownstoner post today, a new five-story rental will indeed replace the current building, which will result in shuttering of the theater in August.
SEE KEN LOWY’S COMMENT ON THIS POST AFTER THE JUMP…
On Wednesday, architects Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel presented plans to the CB2 Landuse Committee for a five-story, 17-unit building with a movie theater on the first floor and in a section of the basement. There will also be additional commercial space along Henry Street.
Brownstoner says that architect Randolph Gerner addressed preservationists’ concerns that the building is “an integral part of the Brooklyn Heights Landmark District and should not be demolished,” but refuted that the lot originally housed a five-story tenement with a one-story attached building for the proprietor of the site.
Gerner said a commissioned historical report of 70 Henry deemed that the one-story building—now the theater—underwent enough change so that it “no longer retains its historical significance,” according to Brownstoner. He added at the hearing, “We’re borrowing from historic materials in a modern fashion.”
The proposal involves a brick facade and massive steel windows reminiscent of the nearby new 20 Henry Street condo addition, sans balconies. The committee approved the design and, says Brownstoner, “seemed pleased that the movie theater would be retained.”
KENN LOWY WEIGHED IN WITH THE FOLLOWING COMMENT BELOW:
We’ll find a temporary location close by and yes, we will be back. I will be signing a legal document guaranteeing I’ll be back. As long as we have a temporary location and keep it going, coming back will be easy. And we will still have music and silent films at the temporary space. Also, we’ll be at the current location until at least the end of August.