Bedford Playhouse Theater Tenant Plans To Leave

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Bedford Playhouse tenant Bow Tie Cinemas does not intend to renew its lease, Kenneth Horn, an owner of the property's landlord, confirmed.

<p>The Bedford Playhouse building is in Bedford Village.</p>

The Bedford Playhouse building is in Bedford Village.

Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

The lease expires at the end of the year, according to Horn, who mentioned that an offer was made to keep the rent at the same level. He explained that the lease includes a renewal option, which Bow Tie has declined to exercise.

The lack of economic viability for Bow Tie was cited as a reason, according to Horn. Bow Tie also operates a theater in Mount Kisco.

Horn also mentioned Bow Tie's recent takeover of the space from Cablevision. Last year, Cablevision announced its divestiture of movie theaters, which Bow Tie was acquiring. 

Horn expressed support for getting another theater tenant and confirmed that a company has been retained to assist in a search. The company is Admiral Real Estate Services Corp., which has experience with northern Westchester commercial real estate.

If another theater tenant cannot be added, then other uses for the space will be considered, Horn explained.

A person who answered a phone number listed in an old Bow Tie press release referred the matter to the company's chief operating officer. He could not be reached for comment.

The Bedford Historical Society announced Bow Tie's impending departure in an email. 

Horn is an owner of Alchemy Bedford LLC, which bought the property in June 2013 from Phoenix Bedford LLC for $8.1 million, according to the data from the town assessor's office. Data show that the property, located at 633-647 Old Post Road, is 3.14 acres, has a full market value of $3.1 million and an assessed value of $328,050.

The landlord is an affiliate of Alchemy Properties, whose track record includes an overhaul of part of the Woolworth Building in New York City. Horn is also the founder of Alchemy Properties and an owner of it.

This summer, a redevelopment proposal from Alchemy Properties for an empty portion of the Bedford Village site was unveiled at a Planning Board meeting. The proposal, which is an early-stage concept, includes retail and residential space, along with added parking. Horn did not have an update on the matter when asked on Thursday, Sept. 18.

"This presents an opportunity to create a not-for-profit arts house that, among other benefits, will preserve this historic theater," The Bedford Historical Society noted in its email.

The email mentions a proposal from Bedford resident John Farr to convert the theater space into a "not-for-profit arts house," which would be like the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville or the Avon Theatre in Stamford, Conn.

In a message included in the email, Farr describes the concept as "showing independent, foreign and classic films suited to the tastes of the Bedford community" and notes his role in "relaunching" the Avon Theatre.

An online survey pertaining to Farr's proposal has been posted and is available here. It will be available for community input until Sept. 30, according to the historical society.

Horn, who said he has met with Farr multiple times, expressed a receptiveness to the concept. Bedford Supervisor Chris Burdick, who is also aware of Farr's concept, said he is "enthusiastic" about it and noted that he supports what Farr is doing. Burdick also expressed hope that a theater will occupy the space.


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