Reporting Tim Williams
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — For almost 20 years, the movies at Towson Commons have entertained a community. Now, the eight-screen theater is closing its doors for good.
Tim Williams has more on why the venue is closing and what may go in next.
It is the last time patrons will buy tickets at the theater in Towson Commons, at least for now, and word is continuing to spread through Towson’s retail district.
Since 1992, Towson Common’s three-story shopping mall, 10-story office building and 220,000 square foot parking garage have been a focal point of the York Road corridor. Now, the theater’s Sunday closing marks the end of an era. Several reasons contributed.
“I really think the amount of the note on the property and what they had to charge for retail space, was probably one of the most key parts of the demise of that property,” said Nancy Hafford, Towson Chamber of Commerce.
“I think what really hurt Towson Commons probably was the opening of the Avenue at White Marsh,” said Councilman David Marks.
Add to that, the theater lacks the more modern stadium style seating that competing movies have. Still, convenience made it a contender.
“As a freshman we don’t have cars and this would be the only movie theater we could walk to,” said Towson University student, Amanda Allen.
Towson Commons is about a quarter-mile of retail space, but represents about 90 percent of the area’s vacancies. Current property owners say leasing this retail area will like the start of a new beginning.
“The good news is there’s an awful lot of revitalization occurring in Towson and I’m hopeful that this property will be renovated, they’ll be new tenants and it will fit into a larger master plan for Towson,” said Marks.
Some patrons would now like to see other things.
“Probably shops or maybe another movie theater; that would be convenient,” said Lindsey Deluca.
Until then, for Towson Commons, the show is over.
The new owner, Capmark, bought the property at a bankruptcy auction last month for $28.5 million.