Brooklyn Heights Cinema I & II

70 Henry Street,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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Gabi Gonzalez
Gabi Gonzalez on April 2, 2017 at 7:17 am

Hello fellow movie theater lovers,

I’m doing a project for my photojournalism class at NYU about closed down independent movie theaters in New York. I hope to gain information about people’s past experiences at these movie theaters, recollections of favorite memories or not so great experiences, perhaps economical insight, contacts with owners/managers, etc. On a larger level, I hope my project is able to show the significance of the role that these establishments play in our city and the importance of keeping them afloat.

If anyone would be willing to answer a few questions via email about your personal memories at the theater, please let me know! It could be as simple as recounting a favorite movie you remember seeing back when it was open. I would greatly appreciate your insight.

You can contact me at:


cmbussmann on January 13, 2017 at 8:07 am

The quest to relocate the Brooklyn Heights Cinema appears to be over. An interview with the owner gives a nice history of the place but states that his aim to re-open has been dashed by NYC’s insane real estate costs:

cmbussmann on August 29, 2014 at 7:14 am

I was at the Quad last night and their screens are definitely smaller. Not sure about Cinema Village, haven’t been there in awhile but Brooklyn Heights screens were roughly the same size as Film Forum, maybe a little larger.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 28, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I believe the acronym Dumbo stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

I hate for any cinema to pass, but this did seem to have the smallest screens in town, and that includes the Quad and the Cinema Village…!

cmbussmann on August 28, 2014 at 11:52 am

Went to one of the final screenings last night. A very bittersweet experience for me. I’ve had a lot of memorable experiences here, particularly a sold-out screening of True Grit a few years back where you could just tell that everyone in the audience just loved the film. Conversely, a screening of Drive wherein the already small audience of mostly older people rapidly dwindled with each increasing scene of graphic violence (not the usual fare for this place).

I am happy that Brooklyn Heights Cinema will soon have a new home but sad that one of the last independent neighborhood cinemas had to move at all. Places like this are a dying breed and they need our support. I loved this location a lot and won’t lie and say I wasn’t a little choked up when I left.

johndereszewski on August 27, 2014 at 4:55 am

First, DUMBO is NOT the place where elephants go to die! Instead, it is an area situated along Brooklyn’s waterfront, roughly between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges – hence DUMBO’s M and B. As has occurred in many other situations, the name was basically coined by the local real estate developers. Originally an artist loft community, DUMBO has become extremely gentrafied during the past decade.

Since it is only situated a short walk from the cinema’s present site, the new location should not inconvenience its current patrons – and will probably attract new moviegoers in its future community.

johndereszewski on August 26, 2014 at 5:25 am

According to a number of newspaper and blog reports, the Brooklyn Heights Cinema will vacate this site soon – perhaps by the end of the month. The good news, however, is that the owner will relocate the theater to a site in nearby DUMBO. Since he will retain the current name, I guess we will call it “The Brooklyn Heights Cinema Now in DUMBO”!

cmbussmann on May 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Apparently, Brooklyn Heights Cinema will be saved. The landlord will be giving them a basement space in the new building. While I will miss the old space, which is charmingly small and quaint, I am glad the Cinema will be able to remain in business and hope the new space will work out for them.

CSWalczak on January 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm

There is a proposal being floated to demolish the building that houses this theater; the theater owner says he will keep the cinema going even if he has to relocate:

CSWalczak on November 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm

This theater has been in the news because of the legal troubles of its owner: View link

kencmcintyre on May 25, 2008 at 1:27 pm

That’s it. Thanks.

kencmcintyre on May 24, 2008 at 8:28 pm

We are in Borough Hall. We saw a United Artists theater, a multiplex. Nice marquee. I didn’t see it listed, though. Perhaps under another name?

micohen on June 6, 2007 at 8:01 pm

My wife and I moved to Brooklyn Heights in 2003 and go to this theater all the time. It’s a real treasure – one of the last true “neighborhood” theaters left in NYC. The management makes a real effort to program some unusual fare, and there’s almost never a crowd, so it’s easy to buy tickets at the last minute.

Alas, I’m almost nostalgic for it already. With real estate values in the Heights booming, there’s no way this place can last more than a few more years. Let’s enjoy it while it’s here.

JKane on January 6, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Saw scores of movies at this relaxed, intimate theater when I lived in BH in the ‘70s. Even when it wasn’t officially an arthouse, it usually seemed to have at least one indie, foreign or offbeat film playing. From the photos, it looks like it’s upheld that tradition, with the Indian import 'Water’ and the excellent indie film ‘The King.’ Nothing special architecturally, as I recall, but an inviting venue nonetheless.

BrooklynJim on August 16, 2006 at 6:49 am

“Mangia la galinga morte.” – Old Italian expression (“Eat the dead chicken.”)

Your live chickens vs. KFC comment, mikemovies, is referring to KenRoe’s cutline beneath his 8-13 photo directly above. During the last century, several of the boroughs raised chickens (and ducks, for fat rendering) for poultry stores. If you have a local library or bookstore (Barnes & Noble) that stocks a softbound copy of “New York in the Thirties” by Berenice Abbott (Dover Press), flip through it to see a few detailed pictures of some of the front windows of these poultry stores down on Manhattan’s lower east side.

I’m amazed that Brooklyn Heights eventually produced a small, intimate movie theater from a building that had quite a different history years ago.

mikemorano on August 13, 2006 at 1:23 pm

Were there live chickens in this building? Perhaps you meant a restaurant like Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 13, 2006 at 11:03 am

Two photographs I took of the Brooklyn Heights Cinemas I & II in June 2006:

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 2, 2005 at 12:47 pm

I was outside this theatre a few weeks ago and the name on the building is; Brooklyn Heights Cinemas I & II

RobertR on June 28, 2005 at 3:55 am

I think this is on here already?