Movieland 8 Theatres

200 Thruway Plaza Drive,
Cheektowaga, NY 14225

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Showing 1 - 25 of 29 comments

rivest266 on October 14, 2022 at 11:26 pm

And reopened as Movieland on February 6th, 2004, by the owners of the AppleTree 6. Ad posted.

rivest266 on October 14, 2022 at 11:51 am

Closed in 1999 and reopened on June 1st, 2001, by Dipson Theatres.

rivest266 on October 7, 2022 at 3:18 am

The Thruway Mall Cinema expanded to eight screens on December 5th, 1986. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on September 27, 2022 at 11:21 pm

General Cinema opened it as the Thruway Mall Cinema I-II-III on December 16th, 1977. Grand opening ad posted.

MSC77 on July 31, 2019 at 12:38 pm

Does anyone have a more precise date than “mid 1980s” for the conversion to eight screens?

buildersent on June 27, 2017 at 8:12 pm

This theater is gone forever. Believe it or not a church bought the place for 1.2 million.

I went here for years when it was GCC, AMC, Dipson and Movieland. Too bad Dipson didn’t lease the place as Buffalo needs a second run theater.

JMC Entertainment ran this place into the ground as they did Como/Appletree 8. Too bad.

The last films played here were 50 Shades of Gray, Danny Collins, Big Hero 6, Run All Night,While We’re Young.

Movieland 8 closed on May 11, 2015 and opened in 2004.

buildersent on March 28, 2017 at 5:03 am

After driving by that area a few times in the last month there is activity in the building. Workers from the gas company looking like they are adding a new gas line, there were a dozen cars in the lot with people going in and out of the theater on numerous days. Something is obviously going on.

Hopefully dispon bought the place since they have had huge success with McKinley Mall as a discount theater (on weekends the place is sold out completely).

crunchocky on May 12, 2015 at 2:37 pm

I don’t know that after Dipson failed there already that they would be inclined to try again (especially since as previously indicated the complex only has 3 digital projectors for 8 screens). Perhaps if DDR gave them a sweetheart lease they would consider it. I don’t think it’s anything anyone would want as a first run theatre. With it being as close to the Galleria as it is I’d imagine you would have to share product with Regal, which would put the operator in much the same situation Dipson is in currently at McKinley (going second-run because they couldn’t get enough high grossing first run product away from Regal at Quaker Crossing).

buildersent on May 12, 2015 at 5:11 am

This theater is history. What was a very nice theater 11 years ago when movieland took it over after Dipsons failed attempt at running a discount theater – was run right into the ground. From the first month the place started going downhill.

Hopefully Dipson will take it on as a reduced price theater as the Buffalo market would easily support it.

John Fink
John Fink on May 11, 2015 at 8:20 pm

Officially the end of 35MM projection in WNY – I don’t think anyone kept their 35MM gear (judging by Interstellar). It’s a shame the theater is in as rough a shape as it is otherwise another operator might be compelled to give it another go (although the plaza may or may not be helped by the departure of Wal Mart) – the model Movieland had didn’t seem all that sustainable when they had to ask for contributions on IndieGoGo to upgrade to digital (Dipson upgraded their whole circuit including McKinley Mall – now the only discount house in the region, while shedding a few of the under performing locations). AMC has been taking over smaller theaters to recliner-plex – – they’ve been taking over some strange location lately (like Market Arcade) – so depending on the future of shopping center who knows….

Last titles to screen: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, American Sniper, While We’re Young, Danny Collins, Fifty Shades of Grey, Run All Night, Big Hero 6, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

crunchocky on May 11, 2015 at 5:04 pm

I’m assuming they didn’t repair those projectors because they already knew the repair would be futile. Per their Facebook page, as of today (5/11) this theatre should be listed as closed.

buildersent on May 11, 2015 at 10:09 am

I’ve been going to this theater since the 80’s. GCC, AMC, Dipson and Movieland.

Unfortunately this place has become about the worse moviegoing experience you can imagine. 2 of the 8 theaters seem to not even be in use any longer. An employee said the projectors are broken (for 3+ months!)

The 3 digital projectors they have are often underlit and out of focus.

While each theater seems to be swept between showings I wonder how often the rug is cleaned (it smells), how often the floors are mopped in the theaters (disgusting) or how often the chairs are cleaned (really disgusting). Use the restroom and your feet stick to the floor.

The concessions are priced fair – the soda never has the right c02 mixture, popcorn is made fresh is decent but if you don’t see it popping, it’s stale. For a number of months they played movie trivia before showings on Saturday nights – that was great. I have not seen that happen for a long time.

Unfortunately, the owners of Movieland 8 previously owned the Appletree/Como theaters and they are following the same path. Como had theters that fell into disrepair and couldnt be used.

I don’t think Movieland is long for the world

John Fink
John Fink on September 15, 2014 at 7:35 am

They’re 3/8th digital – with 5 35MM screens. I saw a digital presentation here last year and it wasn’t the greatest – pillar boxed on a small scope screen in one of those long bowling alley-like cinemas on the left side of the complex. This was a compromise for a foreign language film, originally they had showed it in scope until the audience complained (the subtitles were chopped off), had it not been subtitled we might have seen it in the wrong aspect ratio without catching it.

Not sure what its future will be – they launched an IndieGoGo campaign that wasn’t successful and even first run theaters are finding themselves limited (I occasionally look and see what’s playing at a few theaters I know of that haven’t gone digital yet). Here they’re getting newer, more indie films on digital (I’m glad they’re showing these films – they actually do pretty well here!) and commercial hits on 35MM. An ideal outcome would be Movieland gets the financing or another operator steps in and makes a few improvement to the place while taking it digital. It sure is popular (even charging double what Dipson does at McKinely – which is in better shape) – and could be even more successful with some improvements.

buildersent on June 26, 2013 at 9:26 am

Movieland is beginning to upgrade to digital. So far it will be limited to one theater (they say this on their facebook page). In order to pay for this they have increased their prices.

With new competition from dipson movieland needs to convert to digital and clean this place up. The theaters are dirty, they smells and the viewing experience due to underlit projections is poor.

John Fink
John Fink on September 25, 2012 at 7:53 am

There’s a reason not to eat the popcorn. It is a small business running on very tight margins and I’m not sure if they’ll convert to digital (they were asking folks on their Facebook page to vote for Movieland for a $250,000 small business grant). It looks Movieland, Market Arcade and North Park will be the last to go digital, if at all.

LeeBert on August 8, 2012 at 8:52 am

@Greg_Smith, Buildersent speaks the truth. I have been going to this theater for years now but started cutting way back. I tend to go early in the afternoon, after I get out of work. At that time of day, it is not very busy ( which makes it nice without all the riff-raff ). Here are some highlights of the place:

1)The bathrooms are as gross as can be. They are extremely dirty and half the time, out of supplies. 2)Last week, there were 4 people behind the counter. Two of them were working. There was butter drippings and straw wrappers on the counter and the floor behind the counter was covered in popcorn. The other two employees just stood there doing nothing. I’ve even seen employees back there just texting away or talking when people are waiting. Also, God forbid they make these people wear hair nets or caps of some sort. 3) Two months ago I arrived for a 1pm show. Nothing’s filled/restocked. I ordered my normal popcorn and drink. They had JUST turned on the butter warmer. The girl knew this and proceeded to pump this lukewarm crap on my popcorn, like I wouldn’t notice this when I started eating it. There is always crap on the floor. 90% of the employees have the personality of a firehydrant. They take NOOOOO pride whatsoever in how they look, how their company looks, or treating the customer like their jobs depend on it. Yeah, I know it’s a min wage job, but it’s still a job and you applied for it and got it. Try taking some pride in how you do your job. And this goes even MORE SO for the owners of this place. Seriously, do you really NOT CARE about your patrons..? We pay our hard earned money to frequent your establishment, and you can’t even toss some Scrubbing Bubbles in the urinals or toilets. And you certainly don’t snap your employees into shape and teach them how to treat your patrons. I’ve seen the managers walk through and say nothing about how sh*tty the place looks. Will I still go there..? Yep. Simply because you can’t beat the price. But the owners and employees should truly be embarassed to the core at the upkeep of the place. I am really starting to believe CUSTOMER SERVICE is truly dead.

John Fink
John Fink on August 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Boy this is still a popular theater underscoring the need for more discount theaters, but while they clean between shows – I feel like more important issues are largely ignored (like repairing wear and tare, painting, etc). Today the air conditioning was out in the 3 big theaters to the left of the concessions. The musty odor virtually makes it impossible for me to get through a show there – not to mention the humming sound and underlit projection. I’d say you get what you pay for but I’d say you get even less. Dipson owns several theaters of this vintage and guess what – they do the little things to keep them in good shape, Eastern Hills is equally as old and its both spotless and well maintained. With that said it appears Dipson is moving ahead and keeping pace with digital conversion (AMC and Regal in town I believe are all digital now) – with Amherst, Eastern Hills and McKinley almost at 100%. I’m not sure MovieLand and Market Arcade will make it once film prints become unavailable (although who knows – maybe the owners of this place are saving up to go digital by not taking care of the physical building). It’s a shame because people are very loyal to this theatre – perhaps another operator who specializes in discount movie theaters (PictureShow or StarPlex) could do better as they’ve also mostly converted their discount operations to digital.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

It looked like a GGC.

Greg_Smith on April 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

@buildersent-that has not been my experience here but it has been a few months since I have been at the Movieland. You are right about the old Como 8. The last time I went there in 2002 it had a strong musty odor. A real shame as that had been one of my favorites. Perhaps the recession is causing a need for cost cutting, but hopefully, your experience was an aberration.

John Fink
John Fink on March 3, 2012 at 8:03 am

I’m wondering how long it’ll be around – a few discount houses in other areas have gone digital (at least for a 3D screen or two, if not completely). Not sure if this one will make it. (although Buffalo has been about on schedule with digital adoption)

buildersent on March 3, 2012 at 7:10 am

After going to this theater for the last 30 years (the last 8 as movieland) it is time to avoid this place.

The operators are running this place into the ground much like their previous theater (Como 8).

Chairs are no longer attached to the floor, ceiling tiles in the theaters have fallen due to a leaky roof and never replaced, the rest rooms are disgusting, the bulb intensity of the projectors is turned down to save money, theaters 1 & 2 have a constant humming the last several times I have been there and if that is not enough the theaters are rarely cleaned.

I was there 3 times in the last 8 days – old pop cups are laying around, one theater I was in twice still had the wrappers, sticky pop and candy laying on the floor from a couple days prior. The smell is getting to be too and the place is simply becoming a dump.

Greg_Smith on January 26, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Going to this theater is almost like going back in time to experience what theaters were like in the 1970’s – including the $2 specials on Weds. Well run with helpful employees, overall a good place to check out a movie you may have missed on the first run.

psomerf on July 1, 2009 at 2:28 pm

GCC itself died around 2000, its assets being bought by AMC.

buildersent on April 27, 2009 at 6:40 am

This theater was originally a 3 screen GCC theater which was soon expanded to 8 theaters.

This was one of the more popular theaters in the Buffalo area until the building of the galleria mall just a couple miles away.

Around 1990 GCC purchased the Galleria theaters and now there were two GCC theaters with a total of 20 screens within 2 miles of each other. The Thruway Plaza GCC was relegated to playing the least popular movies or receiving them after Walden Galleria need to make room for newer movies. The GCC Thruway site was a ghost town, not visible from any street, an empty plaza nearby (with Wal Mart going up), a roller rink next door where shootings happened on weekends all led to the demise of this GCC theater.

Around 2000, the local chain Dispon reopened this site as a combination first run/dollar theater. Dipson performed extensive improvements, carpeting, concession area, lighting, parking lot, etc.. The shooting plagued roller rink was gone and replaced by a box store, wal mart was built and people were visiting the plaza once again. The theater should have been a success but Dipson did a poor job of running the theater as it quickly became dirty and run down and terribly understaffed. After a little more than a year, Dipson closed the theater and it sat empty once again.

After sitting empty for a couple years the former owners of a local dollar theater reopened this site as Movieland 8. After all these years the old GCC autograph wall remains in place and theater on many weekends has a line stretching out the door down the walkway. It is a busy and popular theater. It would be nice if the theater spent some time cleaning the place. The rest rooms are often pretty poor, the theater floor sticky and the projection underlit. However, it is still a popular theater that should have a long life.

GCC closed GCC Thruway around 2000

2002 Dipson

2004 Movieland