Sections

July 15, 2006 / Brooklyn news / Development / Around Brooklyn

Pavilion sold!

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

A real-estate developer with no history as a movie theater owner has bought Park Slope’s Pavilion multiplex — and the sale has local movie-goers worried that he will convert the much-loved theater into a residential building.

But new owner Abraham J. Hidary — who plunked down $16 million for the building last month — told The Brooklyn Papers that he’s in the movie business to stay.

“The Pavilion is where I go to the movies,” said Hidary, a Midwood resident. “If this was a broken-down building, then we’d think about conversion, but it is a popular movie theater.”

When asked for a guarantee that the building will remain a movie theater, Hidary hedged just a bit, saying, “I highly doubt” it will be converted to residential.

Local concern over the fate of the 80-year-old moviehouse began even before Hidary’s purchase was inked on June 12. Word that a developer had his eye on the property — a 1920s-era building that was a defunct shell for decades until it reopened in the mid-1990s — sparked concerns that the buyer would push for an immediate conversion of the property.

“It’s under contract to be turned into a condo building,” one woman wrote in a widely distributed email blast. “It’s a shame to lose the only movie theater in the neighborho­od.”

She and others pointed out that the company that runs the movie theater has a lease through 2022 — but the building is zoned for high-rise residential, making a condo or co-op conversion possible without public review.

And with movie attendance decreasing, some feel the building will inevitably go condo.

“As you might imagine, we received some calls of concern about that,” said Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6.

“People were surprised to find out that it could simply be converted to a high-density residential use without a public review.”

The concerns were heightened by the fact that Bay Ridge lost one of its two movie theaters last year — and nearly lost the remaining one until a movie-loving Queens man plunked down $5 million.

The manager of the Pavilion said she understood her customers’ concerns, but is convinced that Hidary does want to keep the projectors rolling in Park Slope.

“I spoke to him and he’s excited about the theater,” said Lauren Goffio, the Pavilion’s general manager. “He knows it’s a cozy, popular neighborhood theater.”

It wasn’t always that way, of course.

There has been a theater at the intersection of Prospect Park West and Bartel Pritchard Circle since 1908, when Harry and Rudolph Sanders opened a nickelodeon there, theater history buffs say.

The current structure — named The Sanders — was built in 1928. It thrived until the late 1970s, when it closed and began a descent into ruin. For two decades, many plans were floated to restore it or turn it into a residential building. At one point, the building was even seized by the feds for non-payment of taxes.

Finally, in 1993, movie exhibitor Norman Adie and some partners restored the building. It reopened in 1996 with three screens. It now has eight.

Updated 3:18 am, August 19, 2015
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!