Renovations bring dining, new theater

After waiting nearly seven months, Yalies and New Haven residents alike will soon be able to delight in a state-of-the-art movie theater and fine-dining complex located between George and Crown streets.

Bow Tie Partners, the New York-based company behind the development, has almost completed its renovation, which began last March at an old electric-utility headquarters building. Temple Square, as the complex will be called, is scheduled to open to the public in the first week of November, boasting a five-screen, first-run arts cinema, complete with luxury apartments above and fine-dining restaurant space on either side.

The company just finished refurbishing the Temple Square clock tower, which Ben Moss, a partner with the real-estate entertainment and development firm, said will be a welcome addition to the New Haven skyline and an intricate part of the Temple Square experience.

Moss said the renovations are proceeding according to schedule, and he is enthusiastic about the November opening.

“We’ve removed all of the internal portions but left the outside facade still intact,” Moss said. “And in addition to the cinema and the two restaurant spaces, we’re also putting in 44 luxury rental apartments on the second, third and fourth floors.”

Yale students are not likely to be the beneficiaries of the rental apartment space, Moss said, though the housing is available to everyone. He said residents can move into the apartments as soon as early December.

“They’re very nice, with 850 square-feet for a one-bedroom apartment and 1,450 for a two-bedroom apartment, and they’re nicely designed, elegant, with elegant lighting,” he said. “Of course, they will have to be priced accordingly.”

Students are more likely to benefit from the first-run movie theatre. The theater, featuring plush, stadium seating and an impressive sound system, will show mostly independent and foreign films.

Some students said they are excited about the coming theater, as they feel it can fill a general gap in campus entertainment.

Henry Cordes ’05 said students could prosper having another arts theater within walking distance, especially one that promises to provide an elegant alternative to the everyday movie-going experience.

“The closest [large] theater now is a 10- or 15-minute drive from campus, which can be a real pain,” he said.

Doug Lieblich ’08 said he was upset when he got to Yale by the lack of significant options for movie-goers.

“I love movies, and the one thing I have missed since my arrival at Yale University is being able to watch first-run movies like ‘Hero,'” he said.

But other students pointed out there are already plenty of movie-viewing opportunities both on and off campus.

“You can always just take a cab for three or four bucks to go to one,” Khadeen Cheesman ’07 said. “And besides, there’s always the Medical School and other places. It would be nice to have one, but I don’t think it’s necessary.”

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