Brooklyn Heights Cinema sold following investment fraud scandal

June 06, 2011 09:42AM

The Brooklyn Heights Cinema has changed hands in the wake of an investment fraud scheme by its former owner. According to Crain’s, Kenn Lowy, a longtime customer of the 150-seat cinema who had been interested in buying it for years, has assumed $50,000 in debt for the 70 Henry Street theater and signed a new lease for the property. The former owner and operator, Norman Adie, was indicted last November on federal securities and wire fraud charges after allegedly taking $530,000 from investors under the false pretense that he would use it on upgrades and a condominium conversion at the site. Prosecutors say that Adie, who faces up to 80 years in prison and more than $5 million in fines, instead used the funds on his personal expenses and on operating costs for his other businesses. “It came down to him selling it or getting nothing for it,” said Lowy, who approached Adie in December, after news broke of his indictment. Under its new ownership, the two-screen cinema will continue to show films, including the Atlantic Yards documentary “Battle of Brooklyn,” which debuted this past Friday as part of the Brooklyn Film Festival, and will also begin screening silent films with live music and hosting open-mic nights for local singers and songwriters. [Crain’s]