John Ostwald's Then & Now: Monumental theater of mixed emotions – New York News




There is a monstrous, ghastly, gaping hole in the middle of scenic, historic, enchanting downtown Troy. I know the area well. I played on the nearby monument after grammar school classes at St. Anthony’s. Years later, I was an extra, like many of my friends, in the Scorsese movie “Age of Innocence.”

Now there is a hole there. It has been there for over six years. It is not unlike holes in other cities like Saratoga, Watervliet and Prague. Cities are routinely challenged with the complex task of filling holes with something meaningful, financially practical and pleasing to the local population.

A few years ago when a heard that there might be condos or apartments built there, I suggested to my wife, who is from Michigan, the possibility of moving downtown if that complex became available for rent or ownership. That residential building/commercial plan seems to have been forgotten or lost. I don’t know where it went because of my own ignorance of how the city government works and who decides about what and how. I am often confused by the complex dynamics in my own family.

Lately I have heard about the plan to build a movie theater there. When I first read this I was taken aback primarily because of my own selfish desires. I figured that the new complex would have popular films for normal people but usually none that I like. If a theater is to be built, I hope the films are the artsy fartsy ones like those at the Spectrum in Albany.


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Due to my lack of knowledge of the salient issues regarding the project, I decided to ask some local people for…

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