Chesapeake Movies Comes to Chestertown

edited.ChesapeakeMovies_MarkCooley (2)By Lori Wysong

News Editor

Chestertown will have its own movie theater once again.

The tentative grand opening for Chesapeake Movies, a theater located in the same space as the old Chester 5 Theaters, is set for Oct. 12.

According to Ira Miller, part owner of the new theater, the space is the only resemblance to Chester 5. Chesapeake Movies has been entirely renovated with larger screens, reclining seats, and a large concessions and seating area.

“We’ve really improved the theater. We gutted it, and then we put all new stuff in there,” Miller said, “When you go in there, you won’t know the place.”

Miller is in charge of marketing the theater and booking its films. He has over 50 years of experience in the movie business, having once held a high position within MGM.

Michael Klein, another partner in the theater, is a newcomer to the business, but said he has always been a movie buff.

Klein said that some skeptics ask, “’Why, with all the media today, why go to the movies?’ That’s why people go to the movies, because your first date isn’t Netflix. You want to go out, and you want to remember that, and you want to make it mean something. It means something.”

Klein and Miller hope that Chesapeake Movies will become a staple of the Chestertown community.

“People were going to Delaware to go to the movies. They don’t have to do that now,” Miller said.

Chestertown has already shown some support for Chesapeake Movies.  The theater received a $75,000 loan for renovations from the County.

According to Chestertown Mayor Chris Cerino, “The Town agreed to help pay down the County’s loan by remitting revenue generated by the entertainment tax back to the County until the loan is paid off.”

Klein said that the loan will be repaid within three years and that renovations of the theater have already provided jobs to community members. He hopes that trend will continue once the theater officially opens.

“We like to give back to the community.  It’s not a one-way street,” Miller said.

“The activity that the theater will generate at the Washington Square shopping center will have a benefit to many other businesses in that part of the community.  I’m sure I speak for everyone in the community when I say that I can’t wait for the grand opening,” Cerino said.

In addition to first-run (recently released) movies, he said that Chesapeake Movies will show independent films, and partner with existing community events and festivals to show topical films.

Miller and Klein also hope to have fundraising nights for worthy causes throughout the community.

“Being an independent theater, we can do that,” he said.

Klein has already been contacted about possibly doing a showing of the film version of this year’s Washington College first year book by Ann Patchett, “Bel Canto.”

“If anybody wants to have film studies there, or anything else like screenings for you, we’re hoping to do all that kind of stuff.,” Miller said.

Klein said that part of connecting to WC will involve providing discounts to students with a valid ID. “For college and high school, it’ll be six dollars admission. So, it doesn’t matter, day or night, it’s six dollars,” he said.

As a tentative lineup for this fall, Chesapeake Movies will show “Venom” and possibly “A Star is Born,” “First Man,” and “Goosebumps.”  There will be a showing of “Halloween” on Oct. 19, and new movies will premiere every few weeks after.

Miller said that the fall lineup has something to offer people of all ages.

“We hope that the community embraces it, and of course, shows up, supports it, not just for opening months but for years down the road,” Klein said.

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