How do Bow Tie and Soundview Cinemas match up?

Eli Lefcowitz, Staff Assistant

Picture this: it is a rainy day in Port Washington and you have absolutely nothing to do.  You have read all of @PortSnowDay’s tweets twice and have long exhausted your supply of Breaking Bad.  You finally resolve to see a movie.  You look up showtimes and see that the same movie is playing in both Bow Tie Cinemas and Soundview Cinemas.  You are incapable of making the decision so you end up spending the day watching reruns of Friends.

This traumatic experience is quite possible if you are not well-versed in the two competing movie theaters in Port Washington.  Only a few years ago, the theaters were both owned by Clearview and the moviegoing experiences were identical.  However, Clearview Main Street was renamed Bowtie Cinemas, while Clearview Soundview became an independent family-owned theater named Soundview Cinemas.  So how do you choose between the two?  First you need to read up on some history.

Other than the name changes, Bowtie Cinemas has been under the same ownership for a relatively long time.  The story of Soundview Cinemas is more intriguing.  When Clearview abandoned the theater, it remained empty for over a year.  In 2013, Jordan and Dara Desner chose to renovate the theater. Though experiencing initial legal difficulties in turning their dream into a reality, the couple eventually won and renovated the entire theater in just five weeks.

“We have put our hearts and souls into renovating the large space into a beautiful state-of-the-art digital theater for the community’s enjoyment and to bring life back to the Marketplace Shopping Center,” said the Desners in an email interview.

They ended up establishing a prominent rival to Bowtie.

The current state of each theater is widely different despite the relative proximity.  Bowtie provides you with the standard moviegoing experience that can be found and enjoyed anywhere in the country.  As a part of a large chain, it is not given special attention, and as a result the decor and screens feel somewhat dated.  However, the location on Main Street is ideal and very convenient for Schreiber students looking to catch a movie after school.

If you are looking for a unique experience, Soundview Cinemas is the way to go.  Their medieval theme is definitely eye-catching, whether for better or for worse. Within, moviegoers will be greeted with comfortable seats, clean theaters and knight-themed decor. As a family-owned business, Soundview Cinemas is more likely to give attention to updating its theaters in a timely manner. The Desners are very confident about the work they have done and firmly believe in their theater’s superiority.

“With its medieval castle theme, expansive concession stand, amazing sound systems, and comfortable, wide leather rocker seats, it is the perfect movie theater for families and friends to gather and watch the newest box office hits,” said the Desners.

While both Bowtie and Soundview strive to be your favorite theater, the choice is ultimately yours: would you visit the convenient and consistent Bowtie Cinemas or the unique Soundview Cinemas?