WEST OCEAN CITY – After a long hiatus, a new state-of-the-art movie theatre is now open at White Marlin Mall in West Ocean City.
“The new Flagship Premium Cinemas are modern, state of the art theaters unrivaled by any other in the greater Ocean City market,” said Paul Wenger, president of Flagship Premium Cinemas and Flagship Premium Cinemas at White Marlin Mall. “Our movie guests will find plush, power reclining chairs with ottomans and the latest in digital sound and projection. Our Flagship Premium Cinemas provide the latest in upscale amenities. These include reserved seating, ample free parking and an expanded menu that includes hot food and self-serve soda with free refills.”
Matt Mittenthal, vice-president and assistant director of asset management at Greenberg Gibbons Commercial, which operates the mall, said the addition of the movie theater fills in a void in the 200,000-square-foot open-air shopping destination.
“Paul’s vision and Flagship’s state-of-the-art concept are exactly what we have been missing in West Ocean City,” said Mittenthal whose firm opened White Marlin Mall in 1986. “We are excited to bring a cinema back to the community and we anticipate that this one will be a regional draw for our year-round residents and summer guests.”
When customers enter Flagship Premium Cinemas, they receive a premium experience upon their arrival, Wenger said. The lobby area features a bar, named the “Pig and Whistle,” where moviegoers can enjoy up to two beer or wine drinks per person. Alcoholic beverages can only be enjoyed in the lobby area. Wenger said the cinemas’ beer and wine rules have been proven to please customers in another location. “
Customers can also order light fare and hot foods at the bar or the concession stand with the other movie theater staple items. Food items can be enjoyed in the lobby or while watching a movie at their assigned seats, he said.
Moviegoers can order Angus burgers, pizzas, chicken tenders, Mozzarella sticks, waffle fries, churros and premium hot dogs. There are also special promotions for pails of popcorn.
Flagship Cinemas and its sister company, Triton Entertainment Services, own and operate five movie theaters in Maryland, including three on the Eastern Shore in Easton, Cambridge and Chincoteague. They are pleased to be a part of West Ocean City.
“I think the market is really a great market because the rate of adaptation is a lot faster. People in many areas for the most part, when a new business comes to town, they are a little bit reluctant to go and try it out. Whereas with visitors to Ocean City, they are usually looking for the newest best thing.”
The movie theatre is located in the space previously occupied by Michaels that opened at its new site earlier this year.
“Basically what we’re trying to do is give you the same intimacy you have in your living room if you were sitting with your loved one watching a movie,” Wenger said. “We want to replicate that space and that environment, but in a shared space. Once you recline the seats nobody can see you. You can’t see anybody else. It’s almost like watching a movie in the privacy of your own home.”
The cinemas feature a Red Carpet Screening and Private Party Room. This is an event space dedicated to birthday parties, corporate parties, holiday parties and all other types of private events.
“We built our theatres to be really more of a cultural destination,” Wenger said.
There are special Red Carpet package plans available. Those interested are encouraged to contact the theatre manager at 443-664-8483.
Those who visit Flagship Premium Cinemas will notice the massive posters that adorn the hallways. Keeping fresh art in the theatre is a way to entertain and inform patrons of upcoming movies.
“We have built a space where we’re adding a lot of really cool art images that’s going to be inspiring as you walk through it,” Wenger said.
The theater has a special entrance and parking for those who choose to join the new Admirals Club. For a nominal yearly fee, theatregoers receive special benefits on an on-going basis. A dedicated Admiral’s Club brochure is available on site and online.
The new facility has electronic ticket machines, but customers can also reserve seats online before they arrive at the theater. For online service one can access: http://flagshipcinemas.com/gettickets.html.
According to Wenger, opening up the cinema in West Ocean City was a natural fit for his company.
“West Ocean City has developed into such a vibrant environment,” Wenger said. “It’s become a great shopping and dining destination and it really made sense for us to build a theater here. It’s the one element that’s been missing here. The whole area has experienced a re-emergence as the place to shop and dine. Besides that, there’s not a whole lot more to do as far as visual entertainment is concerned. So we are helping with that.”