HAMPDEN TWP. — Digiplex Cinema Destinations didn’t have to look far for its latest acquisition.
On Thursday, the company officially acquired Flagship Cinemas in Hampden Township, which is only about 2 miles from its location on Simpson Ferry Road in the same township. By that afternoon, a new manager was already at the theater.
Flagship Cinemas, a movie theater company whose theaters are mostly in the Northeast, took over the site in the Hampden Center at 4950 Carlisle Pike in September 2009 — more than a year after AMC Theaters left the eight-screen building.
The proximity of the two movie theaters is actually a benefit for the company, said John Halecky, chief marketing officer of Digiplex Cinema Destinations.
“This will enhance our ability to deliver greater diversity of programming at any time,” he said.
Halecky explained that showings between the two theaters may not differ too much during the Christmas holiday season and the summer movie season because of the sheer number of “tentpole” or blockbuster movies, but there would be a difference during the rest of the year when Digiplex would be able to play more independent and festival features.
“This will give us an increased mix (of movies) and run it as a large multiplex,” Halecky said, saying they could play one independent movie at the Simpson Ferry location and a separate independent movie at the Carlisle Pike location.
Once the technology is ready, the company will also bring some of the alternative entertainment choices that it already presents at the Simpson Ferry location, such as “The Nutcracker” ballet performance, which had a special screening Tuesday.
“We’re on the leading edge of alternative programming,” Halecky said.
Some of the alternative programming includes performances from the Metropolitan Opera, Broadway, West End and a variety of ballet companies, including The Royal Ballet. Digiplex’s Simpson Ferry theater is the only theater to offer such programming currently in Cumberland County. Regal Cinemas offers alternative programming at its Harrisburg location but not at its Carlisle location.
Despite the changes it will make to what it offers, Halecky said there are still some things that will stay the same — prices and, for the moment, the building.
Halecky said ticket prices will remain $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and children and $6 for matinee, with a $1.50 surcharge each if the movie is in 3-D.
Halecky noted that all free movie passes previously issued by Flagship Cinemas will be honored for six months, and Digiplex will work to credit any points that were accrued through Flagship’s membership program.
Because the company is concentrating on technology at the building, Halecky said there is no time frame on when signage or the interior of the building — which currently has the theme of a ship — will be changed.
Digiplex Cinema Destinations is a relatively new company — founded in 2010 by Bud Mayo in New Jersey. The company first came to the area in April 2012 when it acquired Cinema Center locations, including the Camp Hill area location at 3431 Simpson Ferry Road.
The Flagship acquisition gives Digiplex its 20th location, and Halecky said the company expects to close on four more locations nationwide. The company currently operates cinemas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Connecticut, Arizona and California.