Downtown Saratoga Springs cinema is ready to open

Posted at: 10/16/2013 5:48 PM
Updated at: 10/16/2013 6:08 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

SARATOGA SPRINGS - One of the first films to show at the new Criterion Cinemas in Saratoga Springs is the sequel to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The outlook for the new movie house is sunny with a great chance of success.

Located a block west of Broadway, the cinema opens Friday morning for what the company's operating officer expects will be a very long engagement.

"Saratoga is a very vibrant downtown. It's a year-round community," said Joseph Masher, Bow-Tie Cinemas chief operating officer.  "It really isn't just the August place to be anymore. It's a year-round place to be."

And Masher expects movie fans will be drawn to amenities that haven't been seen here before. Stadium seating in leather rocking chairs. A concessions stand that will serve up beer, wine and light meals. Popcorn with real butter.

In addition to blockbusters, they'll show lesser-known independent films.

"Downtown's really going to cater to a more sophisticated type of product," Masher said.

The new 11-screen theater opens just one week before Bow-Tie raises the curtain on its new 8-screen cinema at the Wilton Mall."

The company says there are enough movie fans to make both places successful.

Sonny Bonacio, the local developer who built and owns the building, agrees. Bonacio worked for years to attract a downtown cinema.

Now it's time for the feature presentation.

"There's a great reason to come to downtown Saratoga and keep the walkability going much after five o'clock at night," said Bonacio. "This is a great amenity. They're hoping for 3-4-thousand tickets a week, which will put a lot of people in the restaurants and shopping downtown."

Adults will pay $12 for an evening showing. Kids and seniors will pay $8.

On Tuesdays, all seats are $6.