SCRANTON — A new cinema management company from New York will take over operations at the Iron Horse Movie Bistro in Scranton, its top executive confirmed Sunday.
In an email, Cosmic Cinemas LLC Chief Executive Officer Terrell Braly said his company signed a lease. An opening date is tentative — hopefully before Thanksgiving, he said.
Theater owner John Basalyga, who also owns the Marketplace at Steamtown, cut ties in January with the previous manager, Phoenix Theatres Entertainment, and the high-end, first-run movie theater has been dark ever since.
Cosmic appears to have a business model similar to Phoenix’s. According to its website, Cosmic serves made-to-order appetizers and entrees as well as beer, wine and cocktails.
None of its other theaters appear to be open yet — only future tentative open dates are published; however, Braly and other top executives at Cosmic have history in running similar venues.
He was founder and chief executive at Cinebarre LLC, a joint venture with Regal Entertainment Group, according to the Cosmic website. Regal owns the Regal Dickson City Stadium 14 & IMAX theater in Dickson City.
Before Cinebarre, Braly was chief executive at Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas. Profiles online suggest that other members on Braly’s executive team followed a similar path, having worked at either Cinebarre, Alamo or both before Cosmic.
Cosmic incorporated in December 2017, according to the New York corporation database.
“We’re really excited about this development,” said marketplace spokesman Joe Gibbons. “They know how to do this kind of programing, and we expect that Cosmic is going to do a really super job here as they’ve done in other markets.”
Phoenix’s departure took some wind out of the sails propelling the once-doomed shopping mall to revival. Basalyga bought the mall at auction in 2015 and has been pumping new life, at times plagued by delays, into tired storefronts.
To date, he has replaced large chunks once dedicated to retail with specialty medical group Delta Medix, a Luzerne County Community College satellite campus, and the long-awaited Electric City Aquarium and Reptile Den, among other additions.
The Cosmic deal reinforces a key leg of his now-yearslong effort to revive downtown Scranton’s commercial and retail anchor.
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