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Benchmark, AMC seek OK to install exterior signs as Market Arcade project advances

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The developer looking to reopen the Market Arcade Cinemas is scheduled to meet the Buffalo Preservation Board Thursday, with the hope of gaining approval to install exterior signage and move the project closer to a planned summer completion and opening.

Amherst-based Benchmark Group and AMC Entertainment Holdings have partnered and invested a combined $9 million to reopen the shuttered cinema at 639 Main Street into an eight-screen AMC facility.

"They have been making steady progress," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. "The interior work is going well. I anticipate that the permit will be granted for the exterior work."

The partners are seeking to build four signs, all illuminated, on the Main Street and Washington Street sides of the theater complex. The signs, once approved, will be set up by contractor DCI Signs and Awnings.

The project to reopen the Market Arcade Cinemas began two years ago. What Mayor Brown especially likes about this project is it will bring a first-run movie chain into the heart of downtown, attracting families with a variety of mainstream motion pictures.

"It's just another wonderful attraction in our downtown that will bring people into our city, to enjoy movies, that will cause people to want to live in the city because there are so many attractions downtown and other parts of the city," Brown said. "This is a major step forward for downtown and for the City of Buffalo and I'm very pleased the the project is moving forward at a very good pace."

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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