Norman Adie, the former owner of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, faces prison after plead ing guilty to fraud this week. Adie had been arrested a little more than a year ago, having allegedly bilked investors out of over half a million dollars for illusory expansion plans, and shuffled the money around to cover personal expenses and costs at the BHC and his struggling theaters in Pennsylvania; it’s those charges to which he plead out.
Adie, for what it’s worth, was once a significant player in Brooklyn moviegoing: for a few months in the early aughts, he owned and operated three movie theaters in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.
In the mid-90s, Adie and partners renovated and reopened the old Sanders Theatre on 15th Street and Prospect Park West—you know it, of course, as the Pavilion.
Adie flipped the Pavilion in 2002, selling out to the first of that cursed theaters increasingly indifferent corporate owners—that would have been, per this fascinating time-capsule piece from Anthony Kaufman in the Voice, a few months after he and investors had bought ought the disillusioned partners who had owned the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, and the Flatbush Pavilion, in the old Plaza theater on Flatbush and Park Place. The Flatbush Pavilion closed in 2004, and lay dormant until an American Apparel took over the space in 2006 (the store still uses the marquee). In 2007, Adie admitted in his plea bargain, he started scheming to support his one remaining Brooklyn cinema, the BHC.
This spring, Kenn Lowy, a local artist and activist, bought the Brooklyn Heights Cinema, and shared with us his plans to ensure it stayed an integral part of the neighborhood; the charming local twin remains open and continues to show recent arthouse and studio-indie fare.