70 Henry Street, the one-story structure that houses the twin cinema Brooklyn Heights Cinema, will be torn down later this year and replaced with a five-story building with 17 rental units, the Brooklyn Heights Blog reports. The Cinema plans to find a temporary home nearby after August, when it closes, during the construction phase, and then return to the ground floor and basement of the new building when it’s completed. That the theater would be invited to return was decided in February, but the fate of the building itself has been unsure since news spread in January that the new owner might want to tear it down.
Neighborhood preservationists tried to fight the plan, but Brownstoner reports:
Architect Randolph Gerner immediately addressed [at a community board committee meeting] preservationists’ concerns that the building was “an integral part of the Brooklyn Heights Landmark District and should not be demolished.” He said the lot originally housed a five-story tenement with a one-story attached building for the proprietor of the site. A commissioned historical report of 70 Henry deemed that the one-story building (now the theater) underwent enough change that it “no longer retains its historical significance.”
“We will be back,” Cinema owner Kenn Lowy told BHB. “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.” Lowy told us earlier this year that he might even move to DUMBO after August. “DUMBO is growing, and a movie theater/arts center for music and comedy is something I think would do very well there,” he said. “My first choice would be to stay in the Heights, but the question is, where?”
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