The White Marlin Mall in West Ocean City has been missing a cinema since the Fox Theater closed in September of 2007 after a twenty-year run. Now, a new movie theater is going to be opened in the same space in late 2018 or early 2019 (The Dispatch).
The theater will be run by Flagship Cinemas, a private company that operates in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine. The president of Flagship Cinemas, Paul Wegner, says he expects the theater to have power-reclining seats, hot foods, and self-serve soda machines. Wegner also states, “to some extent, we customize each location according to the market.” Based on the area in which each of the theaters reside, different custom features are added to the facility.
The owner of the mall, Greenberg-Gibbons, approached the Flagship Cinemas company when the space opened. Greenberg-Gibbons thought bringing an entertainment complex back to the shopping center would be beneficial to business. The owners of the mall believe that a theatre in West Ocean City will draw in year-round residents as well as people from neighboring communities. (The Dispatch)
Other movie theaters in the area include the Fox Gold Coast Theater on 112th street, Sun & Surf Cinema 8 on 143rd street, and Regal Cinema 16 at the Centre in Salisbury. Residents are thrilled to have a movie theater close by, one such local, Shae Nottingham, expressing, “[I’m] very excited and this is much needed for our area! When the old movie theater was there, it was a hangout spot on Friday nights! It’s also bringing year-round jobs to West OC.” Another resident, Anna Shade, says, “I am very happy about it and I am looking forward to it opening!”
Many of Decatur’s own are also looking forward to the new theater, drama teacher Brandon Cater expressed to The Hawk, “I’m excited because it used to be a movie theater when I was a child. It was a staple for me, and now its return makes me feel like a kid again.” Hopefully, for excited locals, the cinema can become a staple again.