Daily News from New York, New York on July 21, 1995 · 1093
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Daily News from New York, New York · 1093

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Friday, July 21, 1995
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xsaii COS K3 DAY CO o o CM 5" 2 DAI NEW ' IVe iv Aep return f ne street to Its rightful place as one of the world's great entertainment streets.' OAVIO MALMUTH, vie president of Disney Development MdiriiDDflDiiiii flgflaoDs fee" 111 8 i Pols, execs wax poetic about 42d St. By TOM LOWRY Daily News Business Writer Speaking from under the dilapidated marquee of the New Amsterdam Theater, a host of politicians and entertainment executives yesterday revealed plans for transformation of 42d Street from a seedy no man's land into a world famous showplace. During a long-anticipated press con-: ference, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Giuliani welcomed Walt Disney Co., AMC Theaters, Madame Tussaud's and Li-vent, the theater production company, to 42d Street and said these firms would be a catalyst to return the street to its former grandeur. "I'm big, but there was a time when I had doubts about Valking down 42d Street," Pataki said. "We're changing all that, and it's a historic change." While Disney revealed its plans to restore the 92-year-old landmark New Amsterdam last year, AMC and Ma dame Tussaud's yesterday offered a detailed look for the first time of their plans on 42d Street. ' They include: B AMC will build a 5,000-seat, 25-screen cineplex that will feature wall-to-wall curved screens, digital sound and over-sized, high-backed seats with cup-holder armrests. Each theater will have stadium-style seating with each row 18 inches above the other to insure unobstructed views. AMC will occupy 126,720 square feet in its first theater project in Manhattan. It would be the largest complex in the country. B Madame Tussaud's will build a wax museum, with movable wax figures of American historical figures. It will also produce a "hi-tech show," a production for which it offered few details. Tussaud's, the top attraction in London where it is based, will occupy 60,000 square feet on five floors. Ma- . dame Tussaud's officials said they ex $1 00 Motorola DPC-550 Flip Phone Order by Phone Next Day Delivery to your home or office Save $50 No Activation Fee J C lj 1 J SwW BB ? I ip Swill For Next Dav Delivery to tout home or office call 1-800-CELL-USA Operators available 7 days a week. CoffofarUSA Where One Phone Call Does It All. 58-18 37TH AVENUE, QUEENS, NY - "'.'" J11' www. jLLrirjw.ULU.il. w.-w---wA J"r'' "t-aju--- ' " Si a a wi .Vi. KtllH lOMtlfc DAILY NEWS WELCOME MATS OUT: Mayor Giuliani (fourth from I.) and Gov. Pataki (third from r.) are all smiles at announcement of Disney, AMC, and Livent plans for 42d St. Madame Tussaud's Andrew Tansley (second from r.) brought along wax figure of Tom Thumb. pect 2 million visitors a year at their first New York City location. The cost of the AMC-Madame Tus-, saud's project, which will also include . 1 more than 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the south side of 42d, will be $150 million. It's scheduled to open by early 1998. Disney, which was the first of the entertainment companies to express an interest two years ago and considered the most crucial to the project, will begin construction to renovate the New Amsterdam in September. It plans to stage its first live production there in 1997. "It's time to start celebrating this piece of your history, this piece of your soul," David Malmuth, vice president of Disney Development, told the crowd yesterday. "We will help return the street to its rightful place as one ofthe world's great entertainment streets." Disney will receive $26 million in low-interest loans from the state to do the ' project and kick in $8 million of its own. AMC,; Madame Tussaud's will re-: ceive no subsidies. As officials made their announcement yesterday, many top theater own ers and producers grumbled about the largesse of the Disney deal.. They believe the incentives offered to the company are excessive and unfair. The owners privately say they, too, could use low-interest loans to renovate old, landmarked theaters, but that no such -assistance has ever been offered.3''" Producers are especially irked with plans by Toronto-based Livent,s producers of hits like "Show Boat, and "Kiss of the Spider Woman," to create another large theater on Broadway.' The company wants to convert trie Lyric and Apollo theaters on the north side of 42d Street into a single, 1,850 seat venue to stage high-profile musicals. But theater owners say there are already enough venues for such productions and that yet another will just -hurt their business. Garth Dabrinsky, head of Livent, "declined to reveal what the project will cost Livent's announcement this Week that it had signed a tentative agreement on 42d Street was icing on the cake since Disney had been asking that two other large entertainment companies be signed to leases by mid-July. -. n::i r:ir;:m, sect:.! cos BLOOM BCT6 BUSINESS NEWS Seagram and Time Warner are . putting their checkbooks together for a high-priced game of let's make a deal. Seagram is considering swapping its 15 stake in Time Warner for the entertainment giant's 18 stock stake in Turner Broadcasting System, according to two executives close to the talks. N . If the swap is made, it could pave the way for Turner and Seagram to mount a bid for CBS rivaling an expected $5 billion, or $80 a share "offer, from Westinghouse Electric for the broadcast network, analysts, said. . -."For sure, both Turner and (Sea- . gram chairman Edgar) Bronfman want CBS badly," said Larry Petrella, ' an analyst at Lehman Brothers. "I'm ; sure Turner is doing everything possi-' ble to remain in the hunt" ... Turner, the Atlanta-based media company controlled by billionaire Ted Turner, has long been on the prowl for a major broadcast network to add to its array of cable TV stations. Turner's efforts to buy a. network have been thwarted by Time Warner, which has: veto power over any acquisition of more than $2 million. -: ' Seagram, which recently pur-' chased MCA, holds a large stake in ' Time Warner and is in the hunt for a way to distribute Hollywood movies"! and television programs its. studio plans to produce. - ' ? Seagram's stake in Time Warner has a market value of about $2.35 billion, while Time Warner's Turner shares are worth about $1.2 billion. A swap would have to involve other considerations to reconcile the difference, analysts said. ;. ' Three groups reported ly are vying for CBS. They are Disney, Turner Broadcasting in conjunction 1 with Tele-Communications Inc., and a partnership between Seagram and . Barry Diller, the former head of QVC Inc., according to CNBC's Dan Dorfman. Meantime, a person familiar with Westinghouse's negotiations for CBS said Westinghouse is going solo in its bid for the network. But emergence of other suitors for CBS would hurt Westinghouse's chances, analysts say.

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