5-screen movie theater is re­turn­ing to Chestertown

Kent County News - - NEWS - By TR­ISH MCGEE pm­cgee@thekent­coun­tynews.com

— 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.

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