QUEENSBURY -- Aviation Mall’s Regal Cinemas movie theater is going to get a makeover when a theater expansion that was first proposed four years ago gets under way next year.
The mall’s existing Regal Cinemas 7 movie theater will be expanded to 12 screens with seating for up to 2,000 people, the mall announced on Thursday.
Construction on the expanded theater complex is expected to begin in the spring. The Aviation Mall theater expansion came just two days after a plan for a new 11-screen theater in Saratoga Springs was unveiled.
The 12 theaters at Aviation Mall will feature stadium seating, “state-of-the-art digital projection, Real D 3D, and surround sound systems,” according to an Aviation Mall news release.
Other planned features include high-backed reclining seats with retractable cup holders that can create seating for two people, a new and expanded lobby and a computerized box office.
Aviation Mall was just notified about the theater expansion, and no additional details were available on Thursday. The construction details are still undecided, so there weren’t sketches available, mall Marketing Director Danielle Naylor said.
In 2008, the mall announced a planned 156,000-square-foot expansion project that included a 45,000-square-foot expansion of the existing movie theater. The movie theater is currently about 20,000 square feet.
Queensbury Town Zoning Administrator Craig Brown said Thursday he hadn’t heard about any plans for a new theater at the mall. He recalled a mall expansion plan from several years ago that included a larger theater, but hasn’t heard anything about it recently, he said.
Brown said a plan to break ground on a new theater in the spring “sounds aggressive.”
“They haven’t started anything with us,” he said.
The deadline for projects to be submitted to the town Planning Board is the 15th of each month. But even if plans are submitted in time for the board’s November meeting, a project approval may not happen right away because projects at the mall tend to take some time because of their scope, Brown said.
The Aviation Mall announcement coincides with a similar announcement earlier this week about a new movie theater in Saratoga Springs. Bow Tie Cinemas announced it will open an 11-screen stadium seating movie theater at the corner of Railroad Place and Church Street, the site of a former Price Chopper store. The theater will be built by Bonacio Construction.
The Spa City theater, which will be called Criterion Cinemas 11, is scheduled to open in the late spring. That theater will feature leather rocking seats, a room for birthday parties, and a beer and wine cafe in the lobby where patrons can go before or after seeing a movie, according to a Bow Tie Cinemas news release.
One of the theaters is called a “Bow Tie X-Treme,” which has a 2,000-square-foot theater and 30,000 watts of digital sound.
The Saratoga Springs theater’s concession stand will include the traditional cinema fare — popcorn, soda and candy, as well as cooked options like mozzarella sticks and chicken fingers.
The theater will screen independent films along with the movies produced by major film companies and will hold “Movies and Mimosas” events on weekend mornings, where patrons can drink mimosas while they watch a classic film, according to the release.
Bow Tie Cinemas has operated Movieland in Schenectady since 2007.
Regal has two theater operations in Saratoga County. The Regal Wilton Mall 8 has conventional movie auditoriums, while the Regal Clifton Park Stadium 10 has offered stadium seating since it was renovated and reopened last fall.