Bow Tie Cinemas acquires 95 screens from Crown Theatres

posted by joemasher on November 13, 2006 at 4:50 am

Bow Tie Partners, headed by Charles B. Moss, Jr. and Ben Moss, has announced they have signed an agreement for the acquisition of 95 movie screens in 12 locations in Connecticut and Maryland for an undisclosed amount from Crown Theatres, LLC. With this transaction and with the completion of additional Moss properties currently under construction, Bow Tie Partners will own and operate a network of 137 screens in 17 locations in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, upstate New York and Virginia.

Charles B. Moss, Jr. and Ben Moss represent the third and fourth generations of the family owned Moss companies whose interests are centered in the real estate development and entertainment industries.

Bow Tie Partners specializes in the redevelopment of historic and architecturally significant properties by adding value through a combination of physical redevelopment, creative change of use, financial restructuring and market repositioning. The company is known for its circuit of deluxe, intimate, first run cinemas designed to bring style and elegance back to the movie going experience.

Founded in 1900 by Benjamin S. Moss, B. S. Moss Enterprises began with a chain of storefront nickelodians which soon grew into a large vaudeville circuit presenting such acts as George Burns and Gracie Allen, Harry Houdini and Milton Berle.

The family business steadily grew and diversified throughout the first half of the century and made a smooth transition of leadership when B. S. Moss' son Charles B. Moss Sr. joined the company. In the 1960’s and early 1970’s, Charles B. Moss Jr. joined his father and together they built the largest independently owned and operated motion picture theater circuit in metropolitan New York.

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, Charles B. Moss, Jr. produced feature films and Broadway plays in theatres he developed, owned and operated. During the 1990’s, the Moss family built and operated the largest independent network of resort radio stations in Colorado and California.

The family business enterprise was again expanded in 1998 when Charles B. Moss and his son, Ben formed Bow Tie Partners, headquartered in New York with a second office in Aspen, Colorado. Bow Tie Partners was founded with the goal of continuing a long tradition of successful entrepreneurial ventures in the real estate and entertainment industries.

Comments (19)

Mikeoaklandpark on November 13, 2006 at 7:56 am

Is this the same Moss family that owned the Criterion on broadway?

RobertR on November 13, 2006 at 8:08 am

Yes it is, maybe they will re-open the DeMille :)

Mikeoaklandpark on November 14, 2006 at 1:57 am

That would be great Robert. We should try to find out the e-mail address and send them this suggestion.

JodarMovieFan on November 16, 2006 at 6:54 pm

I can’t believe I missed this news. The Crown Theatres in Annapolis XI and Harbour 9 are one of my favorite theaters and probably have the best projection and sound in the DC Metro area. They have several THX certified screens, digital projection in two auditoriums and have a somewhat personal touch to showing movies as they have an employee introduce shows (at least on the weekend evenings that I go).

The Harbour 9 shows art movie fare and went through a recent renovation but the screens and auditoriums, though numerous, are rather small. Supposedly the 70mm projectors that were at the now closed DC MacArthur theater found their way to this venue. What is interesting about that transfer is that this theater never used them to the best of my knowledge. Unfortunately, I have not been able to confirm any of this and the employees look at me like I’m speaking a foreign language when I mention the DP70 projectors.

Based on the previous posts, if the change in ownership means a return to improved showmanship and programming, it would be great to see movies in 70mm again, even if they are at the smaller Harbour 9. The Crown Theater website makes no mention about this acquisition. Let’s hope the best comes out of this change.

BudShepard on November 17, 2006 at 2:44 am

Great news for those Crown Theatres and especially for Joe. Great showmen are hard to find and Bow Tie is a first class organization. They even brag about NOT running advertisements on the screen.

MikeRadio on November 24, 2006 at 10:51 am

I am sitting in Crown Annapolis 11 in the mall… the usherette introduced the movie and let us know this.. there was no crown opener

John Fink
John Fink on November 25, 2006 at 6:53 am

Any word on the remaining Crown sites that Bow Tie didn’t aquire?

JodarMovieFan on November 26, 2006 at 4:07 am

At last night’s DLP version of ‘Deja Vu’ there were no ads or the Crown Theater opening. But then again, I don’t recall them showing any commercials in digital projection. (5s). With the new Mall addition, it would be nice to get one of their GIANT screen auditoriums for IMAX or just traditional fare on a really BIG screen.

NeilFish on December 3, 2006 at 1:29 am

I was the Project Manager for the Harbour remodeling, and I can tell you the Norelco projectors are in daily use for projecting 35mm. All the components are there to run 70mm, but I’m not certain if the platters are 70 capable or not.

Theatregal on December 6, 2006 at 4:47 am

I guess this explains why I have not received emails through the Crown email club in a few weeks. It was a convenient way to get movie showtimes and once a month they sent a coupon for a free medium popcorn or soda and a coupon for a free movie ticket during your birthday month. It would have been nice if they had sent an email informing of the changeover and discontinuation of the club.


JodarMovieFan on December 6, 2006 at 9:49 am

I got last month’s free popcorn Email but nothing this month so far. I do have a free movie pass from last year’s anniversary mailing that had mistakenly had 2007 printed for the expiration date. It should still be good.

As far as the changeover, no one from Customer Service has replied to my query as well. And there still is no official release on their news release section of the website.

On a positive note, they must have installed a newer digital projection unit in 11 as the older (2002) unit had become ‘obsolete’ and was no longer supported, according to the last Customer Service response letter to my previous query.

Theatregal on December 7, 2006 at 6:33 am

I just got an email with a coupon for a free medium soda from the Crown Theatres email club. I wonder if they will honor it?

mrgonzo on December 13, 2006 at 4:33 am

I used my soda coupon at the Crown in Trumbull CT last week. But at that time saw no sign of a management change.

msharrison02 on December 22, 2006 at 3:18 pm

I was looking to go to a movie tonight, and was surprised to see that Crown had sold out – including their Hartford Crown Palace 17. The only change so far is that ticket prices are up significantly! Great! Bow Tie is also building a multi-screen theater in West Hartford so you will have to travel a good distance to go to any competitor.

JodarMovieFan on December 26, 2006 at 11:58 am

As of this writing, no further Email coupons though I did use my free screening pass to see ‘Night at the Museum’ in Auditorium 1..the largest of them and THX certified. Great sound and picture with some noticeable scratches during one changeover, but overall a so so movie. The online movie listings are now over at BowTie’s website, which is minimal and without much flare that links back to Fandango for showtimes.

The Cashier did not know anything about changes to the Email program but someone on the phone did confirm that they are accepting the now ‘old’ Crown coupons. She was courteous enough though. Also, it seems they’ve stopped the personal intros to the movies. If this is a management mandate, it sucks!

John Fink
John Fink on December 26, 2006 at 1:21 pm

In Hartford they only ever once had the personal intros, to about 5 people (the rest were lined up waiting to get in) for Roll Bounce, bassicly the manager said “please turn off your cell phones” – since I was in line, I only heard the last part of it. It’s nice, they used to do this too at (National Amusements) Edgewater Multiplex in New Jersey when they first opened, but that since has gone away.

beanoboy7 on June 22, 2007 at 1:27 am

I hate BowTie, ever since they bought the Crown Palace, I haven’t been able to see one movie in Digital, and the ticket prices have gone through the roof!

JodarMovieFan on June 22, 2007 at 7:24 am

We’ve had similar issues here. We have two DP auditoriums and only one gets booked every so often. I can’t believe they didn’t book Shrek in DP as they have in the past. Also, they stopped the personal intros. I wrote to Customer Service to address issue and their only response is that they will book a digital movie “if they can get them.” Given the fact that other plexes in the area ‘get them’ on a more frequent basis, something isn’t right. As such, I have not frequented the Annapolis plex as often as I used to, which was weekly.

On a different note, management announced a change to the email program and were evaluating a loyalty club card-type program, but as of this date, nothing has happened. I missed Crown’s monthly free popcorn or soda coupon and birthday/anniversary free coupons, too.

John Fink
John Fink on June 23, 2007 at 4:55 am

It’s one thing to have high ticket prices at a luxury theater, but the Palace, which charges roughly the same now as Showcase Cinemas/Cinema De Lux 18: Buckland Hills (10.00) isn’t nearly as good, and Hartford isn’t Manhattan, it’s a shock, Crown’s attendance probably was inflated due to “Crown Movie Madness” – as a student I used to pay $4.00 at all times during the week and $5 on the weekends, there was no reason to stay in and rent a DVD. I have been to the palace once since and nothing has changed, the staff wears purple “Bow Tie Cinemas” polo shirts, that was it. Then there is the matter of Cinema City? Has it changed. Will it close when Criterion Cinemas opens at Blue Back Square? Criterion Cinemas will be the real deal – but I hope they don’t start taking bookings from RAW, which is still the best theater in the area in terms of programing, projection, snacks and over all atmosphere!

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