A second vision would create an auditorium and lounge space geared toward hipsters.
But it's the similarities that stand out in two competing proposals by developers
The movie theater closed
Both developers would retain the building as an updated theater for
Each holds out the promise of transforming a theater that suffered from poor attendance for more than a decade into a vibrant, multi-entertainment downtown destination.
Now it's up to city officials to choose from among Sinatra, Termini and a third, unidentified bidder who also submitted a proposal by the
"We have two parties who have significant interests in downtown already, and now we have a third that is also looking to invest. All three have created a good problem for us to have, and reflects what is occurring downtown and in the
Mehaffy said he hopes a decision can be reached soon.
"We'd like to have a decision on this in about a month, but that is also going to depend on negotiations, sometimes with several parties," Mehaffy said.
Neither Termini or Sinatra would retain the Buffalo Film Seminars, the
The theater complex would be named Tavern + Bowl, for the chain that also operates a bowling alley with a restaurant and sports bar in four
Termini's proposal includes:
-- Four theater auditoriums with reclining seats and wait service that includes beer and wine and a one-price option for unlimited, self-serve fountain drinks and popcorn. Reserved seating and dinner-movie packages would be offered.
-- Cult midnight movies on weekends.
-- A 5,000-square-foot restaurant and sports bar.
-- 10 bowling lanes.
-- Live music booked by promoters
-- Outdoor beer garden and bocce on
-- Marquees with LED lighting on both Washington and Main streets.
"We're trying to make it a destination where people want to go," Termini said. "The bowling makes it a regional attraction. You will bring people downtown from the suburbs because there would be no other place like this in
Termini's downtown development track record includes the nearby
It includes the involvement of
Sinatra's proposal includes:
-- Three movie auditoriums with reclining seats, reserved seating and wait service that includes alcoholic beverages, and dinner-movie packages.
Dipson, the theater chain that managed the
-- An auditorium with a "hipster interior feel" would include chairs and couches, as well as indie features and older films. A similarly furnished full-service lobby bar would offer custom craft beers, as well as hors d'oeuvres and finger foods.
-- A mid-size concert venue that would be booked by
-- Marquee on
-- A mural along the exterior on
-- A cafe and juice bar inside the
The upstairs space would also be transformed into dressing rooms, a costume laundry room, practice rooms for artists and musicians, film and video editing suites, graphic design and digital arts computer labs, and more.
The third unidentified proposal "shows experience in both movie theaters and restaurants," Mehaffy said.
He declined to reveal more at the party's request.
"We're really looking to push the envelope with this model," Sinatra said. "We're looking to be a destination, a place where folks can feel they can go and do something with their social time other than just going out and have drinks at a bar. We want to really engage their intellectual side."
His realty firm, founded in 2009, has more than 500 commercial and residential units in
Sinatra and Abell said their proposal reflects a commitment to building a downtown arts district.
"It's pretty textbook that the arts can really activate or enliven a previously dead area, which we all agree
Sinatra said they hope to attract "hipsters" who need another incentive to return to
Both Termini and Sinatra see great opportunities in downtown with the return of traffic to
"At the end of the day, the city wins no matter who ultimately gets the bid," Sinatra said. "Any of the three proposals will be a huge upgrade and a win for the city."
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