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Answer Man: 'No update' on Broadway at Center tower

Dear Answer Man, what's new with the Broadway at Center project, the tower planned on the corner where my favorite bar, CJ's, was located? Did CJ's move for no good reason?

CJ's Midtown Lounge closed for a very good reason -- that's a prime corner for redevelopment, whether the 22-story Broadway at Center tower or whatever happens there.

As you may recall, the former CJ's and two other buildings were to be knocked down several months ago so work could begin on the new mixed-use tower, which is proposed to include a new Hilton-branded hotel, with about 265 rooms, plus 36 apartments, a promised steakhouse and other retail. (That steakhouse isn't Michaels Version 2.0, by the way...more on that in a second.)

Alas, the project hasn't moved forward, though groundbreaking was expected last spring. The project won city approval almost a year ago .

So -- will it still happen this year? Time's running out before the snow flies, but Titan Development & Investments said this week there are "no updates." They're "finalizing design details and financial aspects."


A few people have asked me lately if there's anything going on with plans for the Michaels block and a possible regeneration of Michaels Restaurant. I've heard a few interesting things about that, but nothing I can share just yet. In the meantime, it seems like an awful lot of wasted (and precious) downtown parking.

Dear Great Knob of Numbing Knowledge, isn't the Barco Escape theater system being installed at the Cinemagic Stadium 12 theaters just an updated "Cinerama"-type theater, which I remember from the early 1960s? I know they were shot with three cameras that were synced together.

This reader has a good memory -- I remember my grandma talking about how the Cinerama theaters were a big deal when she was a kid.

The Barco Escape system, which got some attention in this week's 507 Magazine , does involve three screens and projectors that create an "immersive" experience. Because of the way the screens and technology are set up, the box also can show standard flicks. And yes, the comparison has been made to Cinerama technology , though a Cinerama screen was one large, curved panel, not a three-part box like Barco.

For the record, the first Cinerama movie was screened in 1952 in New York.

Did Rochester have a Cinerama screen, back in the day? I can't imagine it did. The famous one in Minnesota was the Cooper Theatre in St. Louis Park, but if you know more about this, tell me.

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