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Cinema Art Theater Raided by Cops

TROY, NY – Police led away one unidentified man in hand restraints Thursday night following a raid by city and State Police at the Cinema Art Theater, a long-running adult entertainment center at 289 River St.

About a dozen persons and at least one employee were in the theater at the time of the 7:15 p.m. raid, according to Det. Sgt. John Cooney, a spokesman for the city Police Department. Also inside were about a half dozen undercover troopers from the State Police.

Police arrived at the theater with a search warrant as part of “an ongoing investigation into activities in the premises,” Cooney said.

“There will be multiple charges and multiple arrests,” Cooney said at the scene. He said details will be released at a press conference at 10 a.m. today at Troy Police headquarters. He declined to provide more details Thursday night.The theater, also knows as Cinema Art Show World, has exhibited X-rated movies for about four decades. In recent years it added private viewing booths. A sign on the door advertised DVDs and tapes for sale. Another sign cautioned that no minors were allowed inside.

In the normally quiet downtown area, Troy Police cruisers blocked off River Street between Second and Third streets.About 20 minutes after the raid began, a bystander reported observing two apparent customers – one a man about 30 years old, and an older man – exit the theater individually, walk to their parked cars on River Street and drive away past the blocking police cruisers.

The police action involving about 20 officers “went off without incident,” Cooney said.

The operation was under the direction of Troy Police Capt. John Reigert, head of the Community Police Service Bureau. He deferred all questions to Cooney, the official police spokesman.

Cooney said it is common practice to enlist the support of the State Police for undercover operations.

Police left the scene at about 9:45 p.m. A code enforcement officer posted the building as closed.While the raid was going on, the Troy City Council at its regular meeting a block away at City Hall on Monument Square was discussing an ordinance for the removal of junk cars.

Although not present at the scene, Mayor Harry Tutunjian “was aware of the ongoing investigation,” said his spokesman, Jeff Buell.

Buell arrived at the theater about an hour after the raid began.

Police officers were seen exiting the scene with handheld video cameras. Several boxes, perhaps of evidence, were loaded by police into an unmarked van. Rensselaer County District Attorney Patricia DeAngelis arrived later with a handful of aides.

 

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