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Future of downtown movie screens remains dark

WBFO File Photo

In recent years the City of Buffalo has seen an increase in the number of residents living downtown. Vehicular traffic has returned to Main Street. And more restaurants and shops have opened. But there's still no movie theater.

In May 2015, Mayor Byron Brown announced that the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency had sold the former Market Arcade Theater for $250,000 to the Benchmark Group. The Amherst-based company was planning $6 million in upgrades to reopen the building as an AMC Theatre.

WBFO News asked Brown why the cinema is still dark.  

"AMC has been purchased by a Chinese company. It is now the largest movie theater company in the world," Brown said.

"And with some of the changes that were taking place with AMC it slowed down the negotiations that were happening at the local level."

Still. Brown maintains the project is still moving forward.

"We feel good that it will be successfully concluded and that the movie theater will move forward in downtown Buffalo."  

The Mayor did not have a timeline for the project. But said negotiations are going very well. AMC became the world's largest cinema chain three years before the deal with Benchmark was announced.