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Bow Tie Cinemas opens downtown Saratoga's first theater in decades

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Albany/HV: Bow Tie Cinemas opens downtown Saratoga's first theater in decades
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It's been nearly four decades since movie lovers have had access to a theater in downtown Saratoga. YNN's Matt Hunter has a look inside Bow Tie Cinemas' new theater in the Spa City.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – "We do have a lot of recognizable properties, but this one will probably be the most visited one."

Saratoga native Sonny Bonacio and his company have constructed many buildings in the Spa City, but his latest project brings back fond childhood memories.

"I remember being a kid, my mother used to drop us off then she'd go do the grocery shopping and come pick us back up again," Bonacio said Wednesday.

Bonacio was the principle builder of the new Criterion Cinemas on Railroad Place. The 62nd location for parent company, Bow Tie Cinemas, it marks the first theater in downtown Saratoga in nearly 40 years.

"We truly feel that there is a definite year-round audience here,” Bow Tie Cinemas Chief Operating Officer Joseph Masher said. “There are a lot of conventions going, certainly the number of restaurants surrounding the theater is a testament to the vibrancy of downtown Saratoga."

Featuring 11 state-of-the-art theaters that seat between 150 and 275 people, the crown jewel is the BTX, or Bow Tie Xtreme.

"It’s just a way to experience a movie in a large format,” Masher said. “[It has] an over 2,000 square foot screen, 30,000 watts of Dolby Digital Sound. It's a great way to see a movie."

Movie lovers can expect a heavy sampling of classic and independent films to go along with Hollywood blockbusters.

A few blocks from Broadway at the corner of Church Street and Railroad Place, executives are targeting a pedestrian audience, but believe there's enough parking to go around.

"There are 700 spaces not on the street readily available right surrounding the theater," Masher said.

Friday's official opening comes one week before Bow Tie's second Saratoga County theater opens at Wilton Mall. It has many excited to finally go back to the movies.

"A lot of urban cores struggle with, you know, after five o'clock, everyone starts heading out and Saratoga's just warming up,” Bonacio said. “This is just another thing that is in our repertoire for keeping people out."

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