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NEW HAVEN, CT-The curtain will be raised on the first phase of Bow Tie Partners’ Temple Square development here today. The New York City based firm’s Criterion Cinemas is scheduled to open at 80 Temple St. here with five first-run arts films.

The five-screen arts cinema, which has a total seating capacity of 850 patrons, is located on the ground floor of the former United Illuminating building. “Criterion Cinemas combines the elegance and style of an earlier movie-going era with today’s most innovative technology,” says Ben Moss, a partner in Bow Tie Partners. It’s a natural fit with New Haven — a city immersed in art, energy and cultural vibrance.”

The former United Illuminating Building was constructed in 1938 and is being redeveloped by Bow Tie Partners. In addition to the cinema, the firm is currently developing a total of 44 luxury apartment units on the second and third stories of the building. A fourth story is also to be built, which would increase the building size from 116,000 sf to approximately 122,500 sf. The rental one, two and three-bedroom apartments, which will range in size from 800 sf to 1,269 sf, are expected to be ready for occupancy early next year. Also under construction are two restaurants of 7,500 sf and 2,000 sf. Other planned amenities at Temple Square are a fitness center and a landscaped rooftop garden.

The Neo-Classical designed building has been a staple in the Downtown area with its distinctive clock tower, which was recently refurbished by Bow Tie Partners. Criterion Cinemas features a glass marquee, a sidewalk box office and a beer and wine bar. The lobby of the theater includes a 23-foot mural depicting some of entertainment legends including Humphrey Bogart, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, company officials note.

Bow Tie Partners is a family owned real estate and entertainment firm. Charles B. Moss, Jr. and Ben Moss are third and fourth generation members of the Moss family whose roots date back to show business in the early 1900s in New York City. BS Moss built and operated one of the largest vaudeville and motion picture circuits in the New York metro area. The firm owns the Bow Tie building on Times Square, home to retailers Toys “R” Us and the Swatch Watch Co.

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