Some question if proposed movie theater is compatible with downtown Troy

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – More businesses continue to come to downtown Troy, but would a movie theater fit in the neighborhood?

Friday was the first Troy Night Out of the year. The event promotes small businesses. But a big business, Bow Tie Cinemas, is proposed for the site of the former city hall and could change the landscape of downtown Troy.

“Downtown is amazing,” Debra Lockrow said. “It’s been improving every year, every six months.”

Lockrow has watched downtown Troy evolve into a vibrant neighborhood as the owner of ArtCentric on River Street.

“We’ve got a lot of businesses,” she said. “A lot of excitement and more people coming all the time.”

That number could increase dramatically by the end of 2018 with a Bow Tie Cinemas at 1 Monument Sq.

“It’s been a difficult road,” Lockrow said. “Different developers have come in; they’ve left.”

The spot has been unoccupied for awhile and sits as an empty parking lot.

“We’ve always wanted to develop that site in a way that complements Troy’s small businesses,” Mayor Patrick Madden said. “It’s restaurants. It’s bars.”

Madden feels an entertainment venue is the right choice. The proposed cinema would have nine theaters and feature online seat reservations and an app where customers could order food. It’s expected to cost around $18 million and would attract about 10,000 people each week.

“It not only supports the existing businesses, but it creates opportunity for more business to develop as well,” he said.

Lockrow agrees but she doesn’t think a movie theater would fit in.

“I think it seems a little large for the area,” she said.

Lockrow hopes the developers take both the river and downtown architecture into consideration.

“Movie theater wouldn’t have been my first choice, but you know, these are known developers,” she said. “I hope they know what they’re doing.”

The city council will vote on the sale of the property on Thursday. Then comes the approval stage.

If the proposal goes through, construction would start in the fall with hopes of completion by the end of 2018.


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