BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Movie-theater chain Bow Tie Cinemas has closed permanently its location at the Bedford Playhouse.
Mention of the location, which is in Bedford Village, had been removed from the company’s website by Monday. The location and details were displayed on the website as recently as Sunday, which was also the last date for scheduled show times.
People at the Playhouse site also confirmed that the movie theater closed on Sunday. Workers were busy coming out of the theater’s bottom level, with several items being moved out.
Bow Tie’s closure comes after it was granted an extension to stay in the building. The movie-chain’s departure was originally to have coincided with the change in calendar year, which is when its lease was set to expire. Bow Tie chose not to renew its lease, according to Kenneth Horn, the property’s landlord.
Horn owns the Bedford Playhouse through his company, Alchemy Bedford LLC. The corporate entity, in turn, is an affiliate of Horn’s other company, Alchemy Properties. Horn is seeking to fill the space, although he plans to fill it with a retail occupant if he can't get another theater tenant.
In addition to the theater space, the Bedford Playhouse includes a series of local shops.
Although Bow Tie is leaving Bedford Village, it still operates nearby theaters in Mount Kisco and New Canaan, among others.
Bow Tie’s intent to exit has been known publicly for months. During that time, a new initiative sprang up to convert the Playhouse’s theater space into an arts theater similar to the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. John Farr, who has touted the Burns-style concept, has organized a group called Friends of Bedford Playhouse to raise money. It is seeking $2.5 million in pledges for the venture by March 1.
The loss of a theater marks the end of an era for the building. The Bedford Playhouse’s movie theater first opened in 1947, according to a history section on the group’s website, which adds that it was owned and designed by Pound Ridge architect Joseph H. Stearns.
“It had a state of the art sound system and projection, air conditioning and an exterior designed to blend in with the historic village of Bedford,” the group’s history page recalls.
An historical overview of the Bedford Playhouse, which was written by local Realtor Karen Benvin Ransom, is available on the group’s website.
The movie theater is not the only section of the Bedford Playhouse building to change. The adjacent Meetinghouse restaurant closed on Sunday in connection with a purchase and planned name change, according to Mitchell Samberg, who is a new co-owner. Samberg, who closed on the deal on Monday, purchased the business with his wife, Lynn, and was among those who confirmed the theater’s closure.
The Sunday closure of both places was coincidental, Samberg explained. The couple plan on giving the restaurant a new name, Bedford 234, and expect it to open in February. Check back with Daily Voice for a full story on the ownership change.
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