It’s expected to open sometime this year.
Frederick, Md (KM). It’s a new concept in entertainment and it’s coming to Frederick. The HighRock Group, which is based in Hagerstown, says it will renovate the eastern part of the now-vacant Frederick Towne Mall in order to bring in a high end movie theater.
It will be known as the Warehouse Cinemas where patrons can watch first-run Hollywood movies in leather reclining chairs with an modern-industrial decor. They can also enjoy food and a variety of beverages while enjoying the film, including beer and wine.
Justin Kiska, the former President of the Golden Mile Alliance, says this theater will be a plus for the Golden Mile which has lost some of its luster in recent years. “And I think with something like this, a draw like Warehouse Cinemas, we’re going to see the rest of the old mall site show up quickly with all kinds of new businesses,”: he says.
The Frederick Towne Mall opened in 1972. and was once the hub of the Golden Mile. It closed in 2013. Plans to demolish the site and put in a Wal Mart fell through in 2016 when the retail giant pulled out.
The site is currently owned by West Frederick Center LLLP.
Kiska says the Warehouse Cinemas is new concept when it comes to going to the movies. “They are one of the new-age types of movie theaters where you’re able to eat and drink during the movies. They’re going to have a restaurant as well,” he says.
Hoyts Cinemas had a theater at the Frederick Towne Mall, but it closed in 2009.
Kiska, who is part owner of the Way Off Broadway Dinner Theater, says he isn’t worried about Warehouse Cinemas being a major competitor. “People who go out for entertainment go everywhere. I think it’s going to be wonderful for all the businesses along Route 40. And chances are we’ll end up advertising there,” he said.
The HighRock Group did not announce a timeline for renovating the old mall, but officials hope the new theater will open sometime this year.
To open the Warehouse Cinemas, HIghRock will need to make significant renovations to the inside and outside of the old mall, and that could include a redesign of the facade and the main entrance facing Route 40.
“The Golden Mile is not necessarily going to be the retail corridor that everyone thinks of it as,” says Kiska. “It will be known for the restaurants and the entertainment. You’re already seeing people coming to the Golden Mile for the variety of restaurants that are there.”
By Kevin McManus