MASSENA — A Potsdam businessman says when the Massena Movieplex opens Friday it will be showing two of the most popular movies that opened in late November as well as two movies that are opening this weekend.
"We'll have 'New Moon,' 'Blind Side,' 'Armored' and 'Brothers,'" said Jeffrey A. Szot, president of JS Cinemas, Inc.
Mr. Szot said he has been in contact with Harte Haven officials in recent weeks after Cinema North abruptly shut its doors at the Massena Movieplex in early October in the midst of a companywide move that closed theaters in New York, Massachusetts and Vermont.
He operates the Roxy Theater in Potsdam and the American Theater in Canton as well as the 56 Auto Theater just outside Massena. He said the Massena Movieplex made good sense from a business perspective.
"I'm right in the market, right in the region. It fits very well. The Cinema North properties have all gone pretty much to single owners. Johnstown and Auburn have also been getting parceled out to smaller regional owners," he said.
While he said it would have been great to have been open last weekend for the holiday kickoff, Mr. Szot said there is still plenty of time left in the holiday season for new releases.
"This is one of two major release periods. It's the holiday season and then May and June for the start of the summer," he said.
He said the plans call for the Massena Movieplex to retain its name and stay at eight theaters for now. "We plan to clean the theater up over the next six to 12 months, and we will be revamping the seating," Mr. Szot said.
"Initially we just want to get it open. We've had a lot of people coming over to Potsdam and telling us they wanted to get the Massena theater open again. Everybody has been very positive," he said.
Mr. Szot operated the now shuttered movie theater in downtown Massena for a time two decades ago.
He also had been in negotiations with the St. Lawrence Centre to open a cineplex at the mall when Cinema North announced its plans in the early 1990s to open the Massena Movieplex at the Harte Haven Shopping Center. That ended the talk of a movie theater at the mall.