Front Street Movie Theater: Will You Go?

The Governor announced today that the Front Street development in Downtown Hartford has signed its first tenant, Cinema Grill. That’s right, the Governor made the announcement. Must be important for Hartford, right?


Front Street, Downtown Hartford

This is a major step forward, as Cinema Grill, a movie theater and dining complex, will occupy a little over a third of the available Front Street space- 22,500 square feet. Hopefully this announcement will propel others to fill the remaining space in the upcoming months.

Cinema Grill operates several other outlets in various parts of the country. They’ll have popular releases in addition to indie and foreign films. I checked out a few of their local websites and prices seem reasonable, $4 for evening tickets for adults and no minimum on the amount you must spend on food. Their food menu seemed to resemble any number of chain restaurant menus, but I’m not going to complain, this seems like a good anchor tenant. They are targeting a mid-2011 opening.

Most importantly, do you see yourself going to this type of venue? I think we would. Prices are right, it’s easy enough to get to and seems like it would be a slightly different atmosphere than just a standard movie theater.

10 thoughts on “Front Street Movie Theater: Will You Go?

  1. I would be more apt to go here than to either of the nearby Bowtie Cinemas– better price and I don’t have to worry about parking because I can easily walk there.

  2. Well, finally. I walked by Front Street last night and was amazed to see that they hadn’t poured the floors inside — they were literally dirt with pipes sticking out, presumably for utility access.

    I’ve been watching the the construction from my office window for a while, and was really starting to worry that nobody would ever sign a lease there. If I were cynical, I’d wonder just how sweet a deal this theater outfit got to lure them in, but that’s the developers’ problem, not mine.

    It will be great to have movies downtown, and as a downtown resident I’m looking forward to giving it a try. Now if only they could get some actual retail in there there instead of what is basically a theme restaurant.

    (Are they going to program movies based on the demographics of captive audiences attending the convention center? “Spider Man” for comics shows, “Novocaine” when dentists come to town, etc?)

  3. This sparked a long distant memory – there used to be a restaurant in the basement of the iconic (to some) GM building in NYC – near Central Park; I remember my parents taking me there and you ate and watched a movie – this must have been in the early 1970s or maybe the mid 1970s. Using Google I found some blogs about it – it seems it was called the “auto pub” and employed a similiar concept as this new chain. I think its gone now and there is a big Apple Store there according to wikipedia. Anyway, I would try this new place definitely. If nothing else, its “efficient”! Ultimately, it may well hinge on how the food is and how the experience of the sound of the movie goes with people eating – but its a good location with parking and a neat idea. Probably good for kids parties etc. also. It was certainly a fond memory for me.

  4. this sounds interesting – now that “date nights” are limited, making a movie night an event with dinner and a visit to a place like this sounds like a good option.

  5. Glad to see all of the positive comments here. If you need a little rain on your parade or Hartford bashing, head on over to the Courant’s comment section on the announcement of this tenant. 🙂

  6. I think this is great news… and I’m sure the fact that a third of the leasable space is taken up with give other businesses more incentive to a sign a lease. It helps when you know you’re going to have fellow businesses located in a project like this.

    And as far as the Courant comments go – I’m pretty sure the only way those commenters would be happy with Hartford is if Hartford looked like Avon.

  7. Speaking for myself, I’m not familiar enough with Avon to know what qualities Hartford might do well to emaulate, or what qualities of Hartford that Avon might do well to emulate. I imagine each city has its strong points and its areas of possible improvement.

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