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New technology delays Colonie cinemas

A second delay in the opening of the Regal Cinemas at Colonie Center has pushed the expected unveiling to late April or early May.

Initially, mall owners Feldman Mall Properties Inc., set an opening date of no later than Friday, Dec. 7, in the hopes of taking in holiday shoppers and the Christmas movie releases. The opening was pushed back to February as steel workers completed work on the third-story addition housing the 13-screen cinema.

Now, the work is completed, but the theater is waiting on delivery of state-of-the-art digital equipment and set-up, said mall officials.

There is a lot of detail. We are in the final stretch, said Larry Feldman, Feldman Mall Properties executive board chairman. "There was some technical stuff with the auditoriums. The building is not falling down."

Feldman said the theater's construction is solid and that delays are due to new digital projection technologies Regal and Feldman are still getting to know.

"It's just a timing issue. This is a large project," said Colonie Center General Manager Joe Millet. All of the other work as part of the multi-million dollar mall upgrade was done on time, he said.

"For Regal, it is a whole new ballgame going all digital," Millet said.

Much of the theater equipment continues to arrive at the mall, said Millet. Other equipment, like the 2,800 seats, are in storage waiting for the installation of other equipment.

When completed, the new theater will be one of a handful of fully digital Regal Cinemas in the country and the third under control of Feldman Properties. The other digital theaters are in Pennsylvania and Illinois, said Feldman.

Regal opted to go digital as early as 2003 as the technology promised faster, flexible and improved image and sound quality. Also, digital costs less to produce than creating and distributing film prints, according to the company Web site.

"It's just that digital is new, so the guys are not as proficient as they are with the older technology," said Feldman.""

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