An 11-screen Bow Tie Cinema complex will open next spring in what for many years had been a Price Chopper supermarket at Railroad Place and Church Street, developers announced Tuesday.
The city currently has no full-time theater and hasn’t since Joseph O’Hara’s dinner theater on Congress Street closed nearly a decade ago. The last traditional theater in the city, the Community Theater on Broadway, closed in the late 1970s.
Bonacio Construction of Saratoga Springs purchased the Railroad Place property from Price Chopper several years ago and has erected a multi-story luxury apartment building with a new, smaller Price Chopper market on its first floor at the corner of Railroad Place and Division Street.
Sonny Bonacio is reconfiguring the old supermarket with the cinema on the 34,000-square-foot first floor and 12,500 square feet of office space on each of the new second and third floors.
A centerpiece of the movie theater will be a BTX theater with a nearly 2,000-square-foot screen, a 30,000-watt digital sound system and leather rocking seats, according to Joseph Masher, the company’s chief operating officer.
Ben Moss, owner of Bow Tie Cinemas, said that BTX is “our own exclusive brand of ultimate digital cinema.”
Bow Tie Cinemas, with headquarters in Ridgefield, Conn., and Manhattan, has a six-screen Movieland theater complex on State Street in Schenectady among its 21 locations with 169 screens. The Schenectady complex opened in 2007.
The Saratoga Springs Bow Tie Cinema will be called Criterion Cinemas 11 when it opens in late spring of 2013. The theater will include a wine and beer cafe in the lobby, according to a company statement.
Larry Novik, operations director for Bonacio Construction, said the firm has been trying to bring a theater to Saratoga Springs for some time. Once the company started talks with Bow Tie Cinemas, “there was a very smooth transition.
“They strive to be a very community-involved company,” Novik said, encouraging school events and other local participation in the complex.
All of the 11 theaters will feature the latest in all-digital projection and sound, with large, wall-to-wall screens.
Criterion Cinemas 11 will also offer independent films that will share the bill with the latest Hollywood products, according to a company statement.
The theater will feature Bow Tie Cinemas’ “Movies & Mimosas” program, in which on weekend mornings, guests can come to the theater and enjoy a mimosa (orange juice and champagne) and see a classic film on the big screen.
Bow Tie Cinemas is a four-generation family-owned business that started in 1900 with nickelodeon theaters.
After moving into vaudeville and the movie palace era, the company (then known as B.S. Moss Theaters) was the largest independent exhibitor in the greater New York metropolitan area.
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