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Benderson Development Co. of Buffalo is seeking an OK for Regal Cinemas of Knoxville, Tenn., to build a 15-screen movie theater on the company's property in the Builders Square plaza near the intersection of Niagara Falls Boulevard and the Niagara Expressway.

A Benderson representative is scheduled to appear before the city Planning Board, which meets at 6 p.m. today.

Donald Robinson, vice president of Benderson, said Tuesday the theater would be an addition to the plaza.

"I think Niagara Falls, the tourism and the local population; it cries out for a quality movie house," said Robinson.

There are no first-run theaters within the city proper, although the first-run, six-screen Summit Cinema is just outside the city limits in the Town of Wheatfield, as is the six-screen Four Seasons Cinema, a bargain movie house in the Town of Niagara.

Comparing the proposed cinema with the Summit Cinema, Robinson said, "I think it's going to be a far superior facility because it's so much newer" and will offer surround-sound and stadium-style seating.

Regal Cinemas has similar projects under construction on Transit Road in Lancaster and Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.

"We expect to begin construction within 30 days of receiving the necessary approvals," Robinson said Tuesday.

"To be honest with you," the area's been very good to us, Robinson said, adding that both tourists and residents patronize Benderson's Niagara International Factory Outlet Mall in the Town of Niagara.

Benderson's other local projects include the Target store and the Tops International, both on Niagara Falls Boulevard.

Regal Cinemas chose the location because it is located near the intersection of Niagara Falls Boulevard and the Niagara Expressway. In addition, Robinson said that if the cinema moved farther downtown less parking would be available.

"Movies are nowadays a destination. I don't find too many people that say, 'I'm going to go to the falls and I'm going to go to the movies,' " he said. Of the location he said, "It's probably the No. 1 theater site in Niagara County."

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