Brooklyn Heights Cinema Site Sells to Developer for $7.5 Million

The site of the now closed Brooklyn Heights Cinema, 70 Henry Street, has sold to a developer for $7.5 million the NY Daily News reports.

NYDN: Brooklyn-based Madison Estates and JMH Development are the new owners of the two-screen Brooklyn Heights Cinema, the cute one-story white brick theater at 70 Henry St. between Cranberry and Orange Sts., which shuttered in August after 44 years, the Daily News has learned.

Gerard Longo, president of Madison, declined to comment on the company’s plans for the property, which is one of the last remaining development sites in the coveted Brooklyn Heights area, but sources said the building will likely be replaced by a low-rise condo or rental.

Current zoning allows for the construction a five-story property but all plans would have to be rubber stamped by the Brooklyn Heights Association and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, since the building falls within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District. The median price for a condo in Brooklyn Heights is currently $3.7 million, according to listings website CityRealty.

Update: Brooklyn Heights Cinema owner Kenn Lowy (who is looking to relocate the theater somewhere in the area) tells BHB via email:

I wish Gerard the best of luck. I had a chance to meet him recently and I’m sure that he will build something that fits nicely into that space.

And I continue to be dismayed by the BHA’s insistence that the brick wall on Orange Street has some historical value.

Our search for a new home could use some help though. Three potential locations have fallen through, and the 4th, which would be ideal, is not looking good.

Lowy discussed his search with the Daily News commenting, “For the money these landlords want, I’d have to run a meth lab, not a cinema.”

There’s been some reaction on the Twitter already:


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  • Andrew Porter

    Gersh is just trolling us. No way the BHB, BHA, Landmarks or anyone else would allow a zoning change for this tiny corner lot.

  • CHatter

    This picture reminded me that the Comedy night that used to happen at the cinema on Wednesdays — hosted by our neighbors Dean Masello and Shelly Colman — has a new venue: Vineapple starting this Thursday, 11/20. The show starts at 8pm, and if it does well, hopefully Dean can make it a regular thing. Please come out and support him and the other comics. We could all use a laugh. Oh and I think they have a license to sell booze, which will make it all the funnier.

  • Jorale-man

    Seriously, who are these Twitter characters? I never found the cinema “weird and creepy” either. It was theater with character in a world of soulless megaplexes. I hope things improve on the new location front too. The area could really use a solid art-house theater that’s closer than BAM or the Angelika.

  • Simon

    Shamless promotion. Will Cosby be a guest soon?

  • David on Middagh

    Well, if you’re serious about that “Seriously”, Gersh is the guy who oversaw the golden age of Brooklyn Paper headlines, and an FOH. I don’t know about the other one—probably walked into the Cinema one day, didn’t see anyone in the ticket booth, and figured it was haunted.

  • Jorale-man

    Thanks, good to know. I think the BHB editors were successful in pushing the outrage buttons by posting those 2 Tweets.

  • Reggie

    What Andrew said, times two.

  • johnny cakes

    Doesn’t Community Board 2 have authority over this. The BHA is just a bucket of nothing.

  • Kenn Lowy

    CB2 approved both of the previous landlord’s plans. The LPC listens to the BHA.