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New Movie Complex Adding Foot Traffic

November 03, 1998|MARINA MALIKOFF

A little more than a week since their new neighbor moved in, downtown merchants are still waiting to see whether they will reap the benefits of increased business.

Since the opening of the Century 10 Theater late last month, foot traffic on Main Street has picked up slightly for nearby restaurants and retailers. But it is too early to see whether the changes will last.

"We've got a lot of customers from it," said Joe Rivas of the Daily Grind coffeehouse located down the street. The crowd after Saturday's matinee, though short-lived, was appreciated, he added.

"We got extra busy for about a half hour . . . but there has not been a consistent jump," Rivas said.

Across the street from the cinema, the Lunch Box cafe has stayed open an extra five hours on Friday and Saturday nights, owners Vicki and Charlie Avants said.

"The opening Friday and Saturday were our busiest days," Vicki Avants said. "Its been slow since then. Lunchtime business has even fallen off some since construction has stopped."

Though Century will not release exact figures, Nancy Klasky, the theater's marketing vice president, said ticket sales since the opening Oct. 23 have been 50% higher than anticipated.

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