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Maryland Theatre not for sale

September 23, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

erinc@herald-mail.com

The Maryland Theatre is off the market.

The theater's board of directors voted Thursday not to give up control of the theater on South Potomac Street in Hagerstown, according to board president Bob Borngesser.

"The Maryland Theatre board will not relinquish stewardship of The Maryland Theatre," he said.

An unexpected offer earlier this month for the 90-year-old building by Demcore Development in Hagerstown prompted board members to say they would entertain all bids for the theater until Oct. 1.

But Thursday, during an executive session that lasted longer than an hour - and was closed to the public and media - the board decided to maintain ownership and control of the theater, according to Patricia Wolford, executive director.

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Before the session began, Borngesser said the board planned to discuss "rather delicate negotiations."

The bid from Demcore Development was the only publicly discussed offer to purchase the theater. Efforts to reach a representative for the developer Thursday night were not successful.

"We decided not to sell to Demcore," said William Hamilton, a board member. "We're going to keep it if we can."

Board member Ron Bowers said he would not comment about the meeting because the board selected Borngesser to speak for them.

"The president of the board was chosen to speak for the board and no one else," he said Thursday evening. "Therefore, I have no comment."

Board members have discussed the theater with Hagerstown City Council members, Hamilton said.

There was a meeting Friday between city and theater officials, but city officials have made no proposals or "indications they would submit any proposals to acquire the theater," City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said Thursday evening.

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