5-screen movie theater is returning to Chestertown
— Coming soon, a theater near you.
That’s the tagline for Chesapeake Movies Inc., which has signed a multi-year lease with developer Dennis Silicato to reopen a cinema in the Washington Square shopping center.
Carroll County resident Michael Klein, president of Chesapeake Movies Inc., said the venture that is tentatively being called Chesapeake 5 Theatres will go into the space formerly occupied by Chester 5 Theatres.
The target date for opening is early November to coincide with the release of blockbuster films around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, Klein said.
He purchased a trader’s license Sept. 19 through the Circuit Court for Kent County clerk’s office.
The longtime manager of the Chester 5, Charlene Fowler, has agreed to work for the new theater owners, Klein said.
The Chesapeake 5 will be a first-run theater, Klein said, offering “family movies and movies that go for the Oscars.”
Klein said he and his busi- ness partner understand the challenges of a small market and competition from nearby venues. In order to make a go of the Chesapeake 5, Klein said they want to hear the community’s wishes — about everything, from the kinds of movies that are shown to what is sold at the snack bar.
In addition to mainstream Hollywood films and children’s movies that have wide appeal, the Chesapeake 5 might occasionally show “artsy independent films,” Klein said. There also could be matinees to accommodate retirees and young families.
“I want it to be successful for us as business owners and for the community,” Klein said.
The company is making a significant financial commitment in overhauling the Chester 5, which has been shuttered since the first week of June. The 14,400-squarefoot building will undergo a thorough cleaning, Klein said.
The space will be “totally renovated,” he said, with new projection and sound equipment and larger screens.
The old seats, which already have been removed, will be replaced by 44-inch high back rockers.
There also will be new carpet, new tile flooring, a new concession area and updated bathrooms.
“We hope the community likes it,” Klein said.
The reappearance of a movie theater in Chestertown has been the talk of the town.
“I am THRILLED about the return of the big screens to Chestertown, and I’ve heard from many residents who feel the same excitement,” Kay MacIntosh, economic development and marketing coordinator for the Town of Chestertown, wrote in an email Sept. 25.
“We congratulate Realtor Matt Hogans and the Silicato team for making this happen,” she said.
MacIntosh hosted a community meeting in late June about what could be done to bring another cinema to town. Hogans attended the meeting as the representative for Milford, Del.headquartered Silicato Development, which owns the shopping center.