News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.
By Nora Lowe
After a forced closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Mount Kisco Movie Theatre may be ready to reopen sometime next month.
That was the word last week from the new operators of the shuttered venue at 144 E. Main St. in the village’s downtown.
A spokesperson for AB International Group Corp., identified as the theater’s new operator, told The Examiner via e-mail last week that COVID-related supply chain issues and hiring challenges have contributed to preventing the theater from reopening to this point.
“We are working on opening as diligently as possible, and we are targeting sometime in June,” according to a statement from the company.
Updates will soon be available on the theater’s website, which is currently under construction, according to the spokesperson’s e-mail response.
When the facility does reopen, AB International Group hopes to make it not just a movie theater but also an events venue. It is expected to include “a cafe with unique snacks/treats around (the) perimeter of the theater that may include a beer/wine license,” plus a possible “rooftop bar with restaurants.”
AB International Group Corp. was incorporated in Nevada in 2013, has headquarters in New York City and has global ties. Its website describes the company as “an intellectual property…investment and licensing firm” that is involved in the acquisition and distribution of movies, TV shows, music and related content.
Jon Gordon, president and CEO of Admiral Real Estate, who expedited the lease of the property, called AB International Group “a publicly-traded company that is making a push into acquiring the movie theater” with “the anticipation that there would be a good amount of pent-up demand.”
The company is also looking into operating similar venues in the tristate area and elsewhere, according to the spokesperson’s e-mail response.
Many area residents were excited to learn last October that the theater, which had opened originally in 1962, would operate again. Seven months later, the building’s windows are still papered over with the logo of the establishment’s previous operator, Bow Tie Cinemas.
Mount Kisco Mayor Gina Picinich said preparing a facility to reopen after a lengthy closure takes time, especially during a pandemic.
“I’m not operating under the perception that there’s a delay, this may just be opening operating procedure,” Picinich said.
Given that many businesses throughout the area closed due to challenges created by the pandemic, the theater’s return could inject new life into Mount Kisco’s downtown. Admiral Real Estate, which Gordon said has “developed a niche expertise in re-renting theaters,” was also involved in the leasing of the Bedford Playhouse and the movie theater in Bronxville. Gordon emphasized that theaters are crucial to central business districts and “something that needs to be preserved for the synergy of these downtowns.”
Picinich concurred, calling the theater “a landmark location in the village” and “a rite of passage” for the town’s children for decades.
Picinich pointed out that at this stage it’s in the operator’s hands.
“I don’t think our Building Department has any additional information at this point,” she said. However, the village is “ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to help them move forward.”
Editor’s Note: Information regarding the AB International Group Corp. has been updated in this article from the print edition that came out on Tuesday.
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