Reprinted with permission from the Times Union
GREENPORT — The Greenport location of Cosmic Cinemas, the dinner-and-movie-house hybrid that once promised to renovate and reopen Albany’s historic Madison Theatre, shut its doors last week.
The Fairview Avenue theater was closed and its lights were off last Friday afternoon, during the theater’s normal operating hours. Signs taped to the doors and windows said, “There will be no showings today. We apologize for the inconvenience.” Cosmic’s website appears to be no longer active. Third-party movie ticket web pages list no future showings at the theater. And an employee at a liquor store next door said that the theater had been closed for about three days.
But the movie house will soon open its doors again under the same management that took over the historic, 90-year-old Madison Avenue theater, Kris Keisling, the cinema’s general manager, told the Times Union.
“We’re shooting to get it back open in December,” Keisling said.
Friday’s development is the latest in the saga of Cosmic Cinemas’ footprint in the Capital Region. In 2018, the South Carolina-based chain announced it would open two theaters, one in Hudson and the other at the Madison.
But the opening date for both theaters was punted back several times. The Greenport location opened its doors last November, while the one on Madison did not. Earlier this month, Trinity Realty Group, which owned the Madison Avenue building, announced a December 19 opening date without Cosmic’s involvement. It will be the first time the historic theater screens a movie since it shut its doors in late 2017.
Terrell Braly, Cosmic’s CEO, did not respond to a request for comment. The chain’s location in Scranton, PA, also closed earlier this month, The Citizens’ Voice reported.
Cosmic had branded itself as a haven for cinephiles who wanted to watch movies without distractions, promising to ban cell-phone use, talking and toddlers. It was meant as a “cinema-eatery,” where moviegoers can order a meal during a movie showing.
When the Madison’s opening was announced earlier this month, Keisling said it would keep the movie-diner concept, where patrons can order food from the diner during a movie showing, or simply enjoy the diner without having to purchase a movie ticket. The new theater down south will re-open under the same Madison name and concept, he said.
To contact reporter Michael Williams email Michael.Williams@timesunion.com