Local theater converts to digital projectors and sound; More than 185,000 movie tickets purchased in 2012; Valentine’s Dinner and a Movie sells over 500 tickets; $1 Kids movies planned for summer of 2013
February 24, 2013 [Hagerstown, Maryland]: Continuing to exceed expectations and national averages, Hagerstown-based Leitersburg Cinemas continued their growth in 2012. Reopened in June of 2010 by Rich Daughtridge and Dave Schleigh, founders of High Rock, Leitersburg Cinemas experienced exponential growth for a second straight year. The owners attribute the theater’s success to community support, creative marketing, a focus on customer service, value pricing and ongoing facility improvements, including the popular VIP seats. “We’re grateful for the support we’ve received from the community,” said Andrew Larson, General Manager of Leitersburg Cinemas. “It’s clear that folks want an affordable movie-going experience in a nice facility. We’re working hard to offer a great experience and to continue improving. Oh yea, and the VIP seats don’t hurt either?!”
One of the largest facility improvements late last year was the conversion to digital projection equipment and sound in eight of their 10 theaters. The conversion was in response to film companies switching from 35mm film to digital, requiring all theaters nationwide to convert by the end of 2013. “We decided to get a jump start on the conversion and are considering plans to convert the last two screens later in 2013,” said Rich Daughtridge. “The conversion to digital allows us to provide enhanced sound, better picture quality, and ultimately a better movie experience.” Daughtridge noted that, based on feedback they have received, Leitersburg Cinemas will more than likely not be converting any of their screens to 3D in the near future.
As a result of the digital conversion, which was an investment of nearly $1 million by the Cinemas, ticket prices increased slightly on Friday, February 22, 2013. Ticket prices increased by 50 cents for most options, however, VIP seating after 5 PM will remain the same price at $12. VIP seating after 5 PM Monday – Thursday, will also now include a FREE popcorn. “After the increase, our prices will range from $5.50 for showtimes before 12 Noon to $12 for VIP seating after 5 pm,” said Schleigh. “We still offer the best value in the area.”
The owners and managers of Leitersburg Cinemas were pleased in their year-end figures for 2012, with over 185,000 tickets being sold throughout the year. After hitting the lowest attendance in 16 years in 2011, domestic box office sales for 2012 increased by about 5.6% according to moviefone . Beating the national average, Leitersburg Cinemas number of tickets sold saw a 44% increase in 2012.
One of the most popular features of Leitersburg Cinemas over the past couple of years has been the Dinner and a Movie events, and this past year was no exception. For the Valentine’s Weekend this year, the craze continued. Over 500 combined tickets were sold for events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Guests were greeted to live music in the lobby, a popcorn appetizer and a special Valentine’s dinner served to their VIP seats while they watched one of three featured movies.
Leitersburg Cinemas will soon be announcing their summer schedule of $1 kids movies. The movies will be screened on select Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the summer as a way to provide affordable daytime entertainment for families. During $1 kids movies, popcorn is only $2 and drinks are only $3.
“It’s gratifying to see where Leitersburg Cinemas has come in less than three years. We joke that only one side of the building’s exterior is painted because we ran out of money back in the early renovation phases. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to paint the other walls soon,” said Daughtridge. “We remain grateful to the community for coming out to support a locally-owned movie theater.”
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