The historic theater in downtown Mamaroneck, a longtime anchor on the busy street, is set to close and could be turned into multi-family housing such as apartments or condominiums.
The location is near many business, walkable distance to the Metro-North train station and near Boston Post Road and the harbor at the Long Island Sound.
The theater’s owners, Bow Tie Cinemas, met with village officials to explain that while they would rather keep the site as a movie there it was not financially feasible. The company said it was considering flipping the property for a housing development, according to theloopny.com.
No plans have been submitted to the village but informal talks have taken place.
“It is a shame to see it close. It has a real history here and we don’t have empty stores on the street. You try to maintain as much history as possible, but you have to balanced. It is a property that someone owns,” said Village Mayor Norman Rosenblum, who met with the Bow Tie executives about a week ago.
The movie theater is open through Sunday, a manager on site said Friday.
The Playhouse as it is locally known, dates back to 1924 and is where Rosenblum saw movies as a child as did earlier generations of his family. He was told that Bow Tie plans to make a presentation to the Planning Board in June on the building’s reuse.
The company told him it would try to leave the marquee and use the first floor for retail space with an undisclosed number of condominium units above it. They talked about possibly tearing down the building before the final plans are approved, but Rosenblum said he was not in favor of that.
“I can’t say we want to look at a hole in the ground on Mamaroneck Avenue for a year or so,” he said Friday.
The mayor added that some residents have said they would try to find an alternative to keep the theater running.
Calls to Bow Tie offices
and town officials were not immediately returned Friday.
Bow Tie had sought to rent 1,700-square-feet above the theater as commercial office space. But the agent phone number on the For Rent sign is no longer a working number and a recording says it is “disconnected.”
Bow Tie Cinemas, a four-generation family business, acquired “substantially all” of the Clearview Cinemas theaters from Cablevision earlier this year for an undisclosed amount.
This acquisition brought Bow Tie up to 388 screens in 63 locations in seven states, the company said in press materials, that claimed this put it as the company with the most umber of theater locations in the New York metropolitan area.
The deal was for 41 Clearview Cinemas movie houses consisting of theaters in Rockland County (New City) and six in Westchester County, which included the Larchmont Playhouse on Palmer Avenue. Of note, it also included Chelsea Cinemas in Manhattan, central to the Tribeca Film Festival which is happening right now.
(Top photo from Google Maps; second photo from Mamaroneck.olx.com & Rofo.com)