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New nightclub caters to all ages

The Eclipse will provide entertainments for youths and adults on different nights.

The Eclipse will provide entertainments for youths and adults on different nights.

February 17, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Frank Turner said his new Eclipse nightclub is a place for youths and adults, just not on the same night.

What's more, his expanded family entertainment center is for toddlers on up.

The Eclipse is the new addition to Turner's Long Meadow Bowl, Fun World arcade, billiard room and Kid's Zone off Leitersburg Pike.

Turner had the nine tenpin alleys removed last August to build the nightclub, which was to open Valentine's night with teen dance parties.

To make sure parents would feel comfortable allowing their kids to come to the nightclub for youth dances Turner made sure there are strict rules, security and no beer or liquor signs posted in the club.

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Besides having several security cameras, more than half of the nightclub's 25 employees are security personnel watching the club and parking lot, manager Kevin Moats said.

Everyone who comes to Eclipse must provide proper identification, whether it's a driver's license or a student ID, Moats said. Youths without either of those ID cards can come in if a parent comes with them to the front door and vouches for them.

Smoking will not be allowed during youth events, Turner said. Anyone who is caught with drugs or gets in a fight will be banned permanently from the nightclub, he said.

The 15- by 30-foot bar will serve alcoholic beverages during adult nights and soda, flavored water and juices during youth events, Moats said.

Turner said he invested more than $1 million in Eclipse, including a sound and light system worth more than $400,000.

The 30- by 30-foot dance floor has a stainless steel floor, a fog machine, lights above and on the sides and two movie screens that come down on the sides to entertain dancers.

Turner started the Barracuda Surf Bar on Dual Highway but sold it a few years ago. From Barracuda's, Turner learned that many people like to stand around or above the dance floor to watch the action. Eclipse allows people to stand near or slightly higher than the dance floor.

The idea for Eclipse came from Turner hearing youths say there weren't enough places for them to go and from his own memories of youth dances.

Turner, 77, of the Boonsboro area, remembers going to barn dances in the basement of a building across from the downtown Hagerstown post office in the 1930s and 1940s. He also was a big fan of "American Bandstand."

Eclipse is open Wednesday through Sunday and can be booked on Mondays and Tuesdays for private parties, said Linda Williams, sales director for Turner Enterprises.

Wednesday nights feature country music and Thursday nights are ladies nights. Cover charges hadn't been set for those nights in time for this preprinted section of The Herald-Mail.

Friday nights will feature two three-hour dance parties for youths ages 16 to 20. The cover charge is $12 per dance party.

Saturday nights are a high-energy dance party for adults with a disc jockey and a $5 cover charge.

On Sundays, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. is a teen dance for youths, ages 11 to 15, with a $7 cover charge.

Besides DJs, Turner said he will occasionally have live music and comedians.

The nightclub includes a VIP lounge that could be booked for a private party that wanted to retreat from the dance floor to eat.

Turner also owns Dual Lanes, South Side Bowl, Pikeside Bowl in Martinsburg, W.Va., and the building that houses the Family Skate Center in Halfway.

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