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Clearview Chelsea Cinemas to Get Facelift Under New Owner

By Mathew Katz | May 1, 2013 7:00am

CHELSEA — A Chelsea classic is about to get a facelift.

Bow Tie Cinemas has agreed to buy the Clearview Chelsea Cinemas on West 23rd Street as part of a bigger deal to buy all Clearview Cinemas theaters from television provider Cablevision.

The neighborhood theater — known for its quirky events as well as being a home for the Tribeca Film Festival — will become a flagship for the company once the deal is done.

The company plans to rename the location Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas, and upgrade key parts of the theater, adding digital projectors, 3D movie capability, new concession stands and visual elements.

With the upgrades, Bow Tie also hopes to host world-premiere screenings of new movies.

"This is the first theater Bow Tie owns and operates in Manhattan," said company spokesman Chris Beattie. "We're excited about renovating and upgrading it."

The deal, likely to close over the next few months, will also bring new management to the theater. The Chelsea location at 260 W. 23rd St. is known for its discount Thursday night screenings of classic films, and it also hosts the New York International Latino Film Festival and the Asian American International Film Festival.

Beattie said the popular screenings, including Chelsea Classics, would remain unchanged after the deal was done, and that Bow Tie hoped to add more specialty and community programming in the future.

The upgrades will likely mean that the theater will close down for renovations one screen at a time while keeping the other ones open.

"It won't be a big disruption for a prolonged period of time," Beattie said.

Clearview, which owns nearly 50 theaters in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, also has two other venues in Manhattan: The Ziegfeld, at 141 W. 54th St., and a theater at 400 E. 62nd St. Those theaters are not part of the deal and will not be sold to Bow Tie.