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Cinema 10 to close

Leitersburg Pike theater to shut down Jan. 15

Leitersburg Pike theater to shut down Jan. 15

January 04, 2006|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN

andrews@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown Cinema 10 multiplex on Leitersburg Pike will close Jan. 15, but whether that will be the end of movies there was unknown Tuesday.

"The question is, will it be a theater after that?" said Ken Ridenour, the managing partner of Ridenour 1994 Family LLP, four siblings who own the property. "There are several (potential buyers) we're talking to, large and small, but nothing has happened."

He declined to name the theater businesses that might want to take over.

Another possible new owner is Crossroads Church in Hagerstown, which has used the multiplex north of Hagerstown for Sunday-morning services for more than two years.

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Pastor Chuck Frank said Tuesday that the church's long-term goal is to buy the building. For now, though, the church hopes to negotiate a full-time lease that would take effect Jan. 16 or shortly after.

Ridenour said his wife, Tanya J. Ridenour, the general manager of Hagerstown Cinema 10, a separate entity from Ridenour 1994 Family LLP, has run the multiplex for about three years.

"It's got to the point where it's just wearing her out," Ken Ridenour said.

Reached on her cell phone, Tanya J. Ridenour declined to comment.

"The reel has run out at Hagerstown Cinema 10," signs posted at the multiplex say, "and we are sorry to announce that on Sunday January 15th ... we will show our last movie. On behalf of the staff here at Hagerstown Cinema 10, it has been our pleasure to serve you and we hope that we can continue to serve you in our final few weeks."

Ken Ridenour said the contract for the movies currently showing there runs out Jan. 15.

The nine movies on the schedule include "King Kong," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," "The Ringer" and "Cheaper by the Dozen 2."

Around the beginning of 2003, Tanya J. Ridenour set aside one screen to show independent movies.

The multiplex has 10 screens and about 2,000 seats.

The building is large enough to let Crossroads hold more services, which might appeal to different groups of worshippers, or share the space with other congregations, "kind of like a shopping mall of churches," Frank said.

Crossroads, a Brethren in Christ church, uses six of the building's 10 theaters, he said.

"We've got 10 auditoriums," Frank said. "We perhaps would like to make it a real community center. Maybe operate a café. We don't want this to be an empty church."

J. Kenneth Ridenour, the four siblings' father, opened the cinema in 1970 next to a drive-in theater.

The owners first put the property up for sale about five years ago, around the same time R/C Theatres said it was unlikely to renew a lease to run the multiplex.

R/C Theatres opened a 16-screen multiplex at Valley Mall in 2000.

After showing second-run films for a while, Hagerstown Cinema 10 closed for about two weeks in 2002, but Selina Theatres took over the lease and reopened it, switching back to first-run movies.

Ken Ridenour said his wife now leases the building.

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