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After years in the dark, Buffalo once again has a downtown movie theater

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Chris Caya/WBFO News
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The Market Arcade in downtown Buffalo will start showing movies again this week after undergoing a $9 million renovation. An opening date of Thursday, August 16 for the AMC Market Arcade 8 was announced by city officials and representatives of the theater's new operator. The eight-screen, 650-seat cinema includes heated, reclining seats and cutting-edge visual and audio technology.

The complex formerly housed the the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre, which closed in 2014. Before that, it was the Angelika Film Center and a General Cinemas cineplex.

Mayor Byron Brown says the opening, made possible through an investment made by AMC and The Benchmark Group, is welcome news for the growing number of people living downtown.

"To have the largest movie theater company in the world invest in bringing an AMC movie theater to downtown Buffalo will certainly strengthen our downtown, our Theater District, the downtown neighborhood, and encourage additional investment interest in the City of Buffalo," Brown said at the site Tuesday morning.

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Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News
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AMC spokesman Ryan Noonan says everything is new except the building's original wood floor. He says the heated seats were designed to keep patrons comfortable during Buffalo's winter months.

At the concession stand, theater-goers can choose from items such as chicken & waffle sandwiches, stone-fired flat bread pizzas, pretzel bites and gluten-free snacks. Coca-Cola Freestyle machines will offer more than 120 drink options.

"These are all things that weren't available ten years ago that are now becoming more and more prevalent around the country," Noonan said.

One change from past incarnations of the multiplex is that visitors will only be able to enter from the theater's Main Street side and not from Washington Street, as before. Parking is available in nearby lots.

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Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News
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The first showings on Thursday will be 5 p.m. screenings of "Mission Impossible: Fallout," "Equalizer 2" and "Alpha," which is being shown in 3D. Also on the initial marquee are "Mile 22," "Disney's Christopher Robin," "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again," "The Meg," and "Crazy Rich Asians."