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16-theater complex coming to Valley Mall

June 23, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

A 16-screen movie theater complex with stadium seating to open in the Valley Mall by next fall will be the largest in the Washington County market, according to an announcement Monday by Crown American, the Johnstown, Pa., company that bought the mall in November.

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R/C Theatres will operate the multi-screen, 53,376-square-foot complex that will feature digital sound, curved screens and rocking seats.

"It will be the absolute latest in technology," said J. Wayne Anderson, chief operating officer of R/C Theatres.

The new multi-screen theater complex will employ about 100 people - 60 to 65 part time and 40 to 45 full time, Anderson said.

The employees will be hired locally, he said.

The new complex will replace the three-screen Carmike Cinemas-owned movie theater there now, said Crown American spokeswoman Christine Menna.

R/C Theatres also owns the Hagerstown 10 complex on Leitersburg Pike and the three-screen Long Meadow Cinemas at Long Meadow Shopping Center.

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Valley Mall's new multi-screen complex will be the second complex with stadium seating in the Tri-State area.

Last month, a 32,000-square-foot, 1,400-seat megaplex, owned by Hoyts Cinemas Corp., opened on Foxcroft Avenue in Martinsburg, W.Va.

The stadium seating ensures a "perfect sight line" no matter where you sit, Anderson said.

Like the Martinsburg, W.Va., theater, the one at Valley Mall will feature unconventional snacks and drinks like gourmet coffee and ice cream, in addition to the regular movie-fare of popcorn, candy and soda, Anderson said.

Ticket prices at the new theater complex will be just slightly higher than the prices at the Hagerstown 10 theaters, he said.

With headquarters in Reisterstown, Md., R/C Theatres operates multi-screen theaters in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. It's one of the first theater operators in the country to offer digital sound, Menna said.

Two months ago, Crown American announced plans to expand the 665,000-square-foot Valley Mall.

Hecht's department store will anchor a new wing that will increase the mall's size by nearly one-third.

The $25 million wing will be added onto the back of the mall and will include the movie theater, a food court and additional mall shops, Menna said.

Construction on the new wing will begin in July. The expansion will increase the mall's size from 665,000 square feet to 865,000 square feet.

The theater complex and the one-story Hecht's store are expected to open in the Fall of 1999.

The Valley Mall expansion is one of four major retail projects planned for Washington County:




HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> The $40 million Outlet Village of Hagerstown is being built at the Sharpsburg Pike/Interstate 70 interchange.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> A $40 million shopping complex, Centre at Hagerstown, is planned for the U.S. 40/Interstate 81 interchange. Construction is set to begin in September.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Garrett & Smith Inc., a development company from Cabin John, Md., wants to develop 85 acres south of Valley Mall into a large retail area similar to Wesel Boulevard.

Crown American owns 26 regional shopping malls including Chambersburg (Pa.) Mall, Martinsburg (W.Va.) Mall and Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, Md.

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