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NYC Eatertainment Retreat?: Television City Signing Off

Television City, a TeeVee-themed restaurant in New York City's Rockefeller Center, will close down due to poor financial performance. It first opened for business in 1996.

The Eatertainment industry appears to be in a scrappy transition phase, with several planned establishments in doubt, and developers looking for the magic combination of food and fun that spells "franchise" and "repeat customers." The Fashion Cafe and All-Star Cafe have had their troubles, and articles on the wires and in the New York Times have declared theme restaurants on the way out.

An Associated Press story reports that David Copperfield's Magic Underground, under construction in Times Square, is stalled after spending $30 million, and proposed NYC places like Marvel Comics' Marvel Mania died on the drawing board.

The new Mars 2112 restaurant north of Times Square has fooled with the formula, incorporating a free motion space ride for queuing diners. It was crowded around the holidays, but the huge space it consumes, expensively carved out of Martian rock, must be filled most of the time to make it in this town.

Elaborate dinner theater concepts may be the ticket. Though expensive to stage, the higher fixed ticket price guarantees target income from a full house. The Tinseltown Dinner Experience, a mock Oscars award night in Anaheim , CA, is one such newcomer.


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