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Maryland Theatre board adds Jim Baker

December 13, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

The Maryland Theatre is gaining and losing a board member with the new year, the theater's acting director said Friday.

Downtown merchant Jim Baker will join the board on Jan. 1, while Washington County Judge W. Kennedy Boone III chose not to serve a second term, said Patricia Wolford, who will continue as board president.

Members can serve three consecutive three-year terms, Wolford said.

"The theater is one of my favorite places," Baker said.

Baker, 53, of Hagerstown, owns Hoffman Clothiers Inc. at 15 N. Potomac St.

Baker said Wolford has done an incredible job getting the theater back in good physical and financial shape.

Boone, 55, said he was sorry he had to step down, but had been unable to make several board meetings because of his busy schedule as a Washington County Circuit Court judge. His term on the theater's board expires Dec. 31.

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At Boone's May 19 swearing-in as a judge, Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III told Boone he "must have the heart of a guardian angel, the hide of an alligator ... and immediately resign from the board of the Maryland Theatre."

Boone said Wright's remarks were made in jest. At the time the theater had been in the spotlight for financial and personnel problems.

Boone said he remained on the board until the end of his term to make sure the theater got a mortgage refinancing.

With the loan secured, the theater is in better shape now that it was a year and a half ago, Boone said.

He plans to continue serving the theater by sitting on the building committee to ensure funding is spent on needed repairs and renovations, Boone said.

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