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Commissioner says Maryland Theatre may host movie premiere

March 05, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

The local premiere of the Civil War movie "Gods and Generals" probably will be held at the Maryland Theatre, Washington County Commissioner Paul L. Swartz, who is on the theater board of directors, said Monday.

The premiere of the movie, filmed partially in Washington County, is expected to be held during the first week of December, said Swartz and local historian Dennis Frye, who coordinated the 3,000 re-enactors who volunteered for the movie.

There will be a premiere party before the movie, Frye said

Director Ron Maxwell appointed Frye to coordinate the local premiere, Frye said.

"This will be a first-class, high-class event, seldom seen in Hagerstown ... All the glitz and glitter of Hollywood will be present in Hagerstown," Frye said.

Swartz said the location of the party has not been determined.

Frye said he and Maxwell want the premiere to be held at the Maryland Theatre.

"This is a classy event. You want a classy place for a Hollywood premiere," Frye said.

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Frye said he is seeking sponsors to help pay for the event.

The Maryland Theatre has not committed to having the film shown there, said Ron Bowers, a former county commissioner who is on the theater board of directors. Bowers is heading up a committee that is exploring the possibility. Before approving the idea, the theater must first check on some technical issues, he said.

But Swartz said Bowers was just being cautious.

"It is definitely going to happen," Swartz said. "But there are still some loose ends to be tied up yet." Those "loose ends" include getting official board approval and finding event sponsors, he said.

Theatre Executive Director Pat Wolford said the premiere probably will be held at the theater. There might be a separate showing for the re-enactors who appeared in the film, she said.

The movie will hit most theaters in December after a week-long series of premieres, Frye said. The East Coast premiere will be in Washington, Frye said.

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