Brooklyn Heights Cinema’s Kenn Lowy Responds To 70 Henry Street’s Owner Listing Building For Sale

The saga of 70 Henry Street continues as Tom Caruana, owner of the building, has listed it for sale this week with real estate agency Massey Knakal. As the property is currently home to the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, the Cinema’s owner, Kenn Lowy, has issued this response which has also been posted at the movie theater:

To All our Supporters:

The short version –
We’re not going anywhere yet!

The longer version:
The landlord has become increasing frustrated because he cannot get his planned development approved by the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission. This is a plan that we wholehearted support. The plan includes the cinema.

Because of this he has decided to leave all of his options open, which includes selling the building and possibly leasing it to someone else at 4 times the rent we are paying. He has not given up trying to get a plan approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission (all options open). And we are still in that plan.

So the bottom line is that we are still here. But we can only continue with your support. If the landlord sees that the cinema is no longer viable, he could ask us to leave. He has told us we can stay until he is ready to move forward. It is important for everyone to understand that our landlord has been very supportive of the cinema.

Thanks for your continued support!

Massey Knakel’s web page offering the property begins with the following paragraph:

70 Henry Street, best known as the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, is the oldest and longest running independently owned and operated cinema remaining in New York City. The current tenant has a month-to-month lease and may be delivered vacant.

Perhaps Massey Knakel, or Mr. Caruana, hopes to attract a buyer who would maintain a space for the Cinema. The second sentence, though, seems to throw cold water on this notion.

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  • Bearcat

    It would be a real shame to lose the Brooklyn Heights Cinemas. They are the only venue in the nearby surrounding area at which one can see the finer films available (as opposed to the big commercial films available down the street at the Regal Cinemas–which are fine if that is what you want). I would want the variety currently available at the Cinemas as well. At the times I have gone in recent weeks, the theaters have been pretty full, which would indicate there is an interest in keeping them open. Let’s do everything we can to do so.

  • bongo23

    I also think it would be a shame to lose the Brooklyn Heights Cinema. However, I also think it would be a shame that audio problems that seem to have plagued it for over two years are still not fixed. I don’t know if it’s because the amplifiers take time to warm up (I usually go to the first screening in the day), but I’ve repeatedly had to endure either a non-existent center channel, or one that cuts in and out. Come guys! Sort it out!

  • Heights Observer

    The new owner, who spends a load of money for this “development site” is no more going to maintain the Cinema any more than the new owner of the LICH property is going to maintain a hospital. Billionaire real estate developers will always win out and they can buy the approval of both the Landmarks Commission and the Brooklyn Heights Association.

    I am afraid to say that LICH and the Cinema are both history and this is the beginning of the end for historic districts.

  • David on Middagh

    With a name like “Heights Observer”, I expect a classifieds section.

  • Heights Observer

    Not sure what that is supposed to mean, but thanks for the “on topic” remark.

  • David on Middagh

    And a cartoon.

  • Curmudgeon

    Immature idiot. Why are you being so foolish? A legitimate point was made and you have nothing to add of any consequence.

    In addition, it’s not even funny.

  • David on Middagh

    How many screen names are you using, anyway?

  • ellymay878

    I hope the Cinema is “saved”. Love what you have done with it..bringing comedy, and music to Henry Street. Besides attending movie showings , what else can we do to help?

  • Andrew Porter

    J. Crew, Duane-Reade, or a really big cell-phone store coming soon!

  • Kenn Lowy

    Which room were you in when you had this problem? The Orange Street side had issues a while ago, but they have been fixed. Please let me know if it’s still an issue. – kenn

  • Kenn Lowy

    We’ll be posting something soon about ways to help. For now, we are here and I think that we will be here for the summer and possibly longer.

  • bongo23

    This was in the second week in January, this year. The Orange Street side. Center channel cut in and out when the audio was low, which was a shame as we ended up missing out on a lot of the dialog of Inside Llewyn Davis.

  • Kenn Lowy

    I’ll check on it tonight. But if this happens again, please come out and let me know.

  • Heights Observer

    One. And once again, thanks for keeping to the subject. What, honestly, is your point? Don’t bother answering.

  • David on Middagh

    I think you’re lying.

  • Dean Collins

    ridiculous that the current building is landmarked, land owner should be able to build with new materials allowing for sympathetic design elements but insisting architecture was “perfect” 50 years ago is just silly.