Plans to convert the Market Arcade Cinemas into a state-of-the-art AMC theater complex have taken a big leap forward. Benchmark Group’s Market Arcade Theater LLC purchased the shuttered complex from the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency yesterday for $250,000. Benchmark is planning a $9 million renovation and was selected over competing proposals by Rocco Termini and Sinatra & Co. Realty in late 2014.
The eight screens will be updated to digital format for first run movies, “luxury seating,” and more. The project also calls additional improvements, including updates to theater amenities, office space and theater facades. Benchmark expects to draw 200,000 moviegoers annually to the downtown facility.
The Market Arcade Cinema Complex consists of three buildings on Main and Washington streets. The cinemas at 639 Main Street include eight auditoriums with 1,842 seats in 33,000 sq.ft. of space. The not-for-profit Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre had a month-to-month lease on the complex and had a management agreement with Dipson Theaters until the complex closed in June 2014.
Also included in the sale is the two-story building housing Bijou Grill at 643 Main Street and a commercial building at 628 Washington Street.