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Leitersburg Cinemas reopens

June 16, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- After eight months dark, Leitersburg Cinemas north of Hagerstown has reopened.

The first day of movies was June 11, said Rich Daughtridge, a partner in Leitersburg Cinemas LLC, the company running the multiplex.

This weekend, the cinema is holding a grand opening with children's activities to tie into the release of the animated movie "Toy Story 3."

Daughtridge said there will be face painting, balloons, an inflatable bounce and people dressed in movie character costumes from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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Other cinema operators have come and gone. The cinema briefly shut down in 2002, 2006 and 2007, in between operators.

The last operator, Diamond Cinemas, shut down in October 2009. The business was known at the time as Hagerstown Cinema 10.

The new focus will be family entertainment. Daughtridge said the cinema will show "mostly" G, PG and PG-13 movies.

Also, animated movies will be shown in the evening, while other cinemas tend to show them in the afternoon.

The cinema plans to set aside at least two screens for "Dinner and a Movie" on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Daughtridge said Wednesday that the company expects to offer that feature within two or three weeks.

Alcohol won't be served.

The cinema is showing first-run movies on 10 screens. LifeHouse Church East will use one theater, with more than 400 seats, for its Sunday morning services.

Leitersburg Cinemas LLC is a partnership of Daughtridge and Dave Schleigh, the founders of High Rock Studios in Hagerstown, which does marketing, design and web development.

Daughtridge belongs to LifeHouse Church East, which is separate from the cinema company.

The cinema expects to have 15 to 18 employees.

The company is leasing the property from the current owner, Ridenour 1994 Family LLP. The church is subleasing.

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