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Thurmont’s Main Street Matinees and more

Edison Hatter

(6/19) Forty-six states participate in the Main Street Communities program supported by the Trust for Historic Preservation. Maryland joined in 1997 and will celebrate twenty years with the program this year. Thurmont is one of twenty-eight designated Main Street Communities in the state and one of five located in Frederick County. The area around Main Street in Thurmont was officially designated as a Main Street Community in 2005. "The Main Street Center is a great community center that draws all sorts of visitors," Grinder said, "from those interested in local history to tourists from out of town to those just interested in finding out more about their town."

The Main Street Center is a historic building, originally a Moravian Church, and later became the Thurmont Public Library before finally becoming the Main Street Center. "This building is an anchor for the Main Street area," Grinder said, "we are so grateful to be one of the few communities in the state of Maryland to have anything like it." The building currently serves as the gallery for eight local artists, including Rebecca Pearl. Grinder said that the center also sells locally-made products, including BBQ sauce and lip balm. Currently, the center is looking for additional locally made products to sell.

Art lessons are held at the center regularly as well. In the past, photography lessons have been held and will likely be offered again in the future. Gnarly Artly held lessons at the center this April and June and is planning to host more in the fall. The cost is $10 a person. Rebecca Pearl offers art lessons on a weekly basis at the center. On Tuesdays, Pearl offers lessons to adults and on Saturdays, she offers her knowledge to the children. The cost is $20 per session.

The Thurmont Main Street Center was opened in October 2015. Paul Echard has volunteered at the Center and recently joined the Thurmont Main Street Board of Directors. Over the past winter, Echard had a thought: many people enjoy outings to the movies, but aren’t able to do it often due to the cost. He envisioned offering free movies at the Main Street Center every other Saturday. And thus, the Main Street Matinee program was born.

Beginning this past February and scheduled to run through November, a free movie is on the calendar for the second and fourth Saturday of every month. The movies have drawn various size crowds and age ranges. Some showings have had as few as eight people attend, while the largest showing had thirty-eight people in attendance. Some movies have particularly appealed to younger children, such as the two cartoons that were shown earlier this spring. On the other hand, some movies, such as Yankee Doodle Dandy, have appealed to more adult crowds. Most recently, Manchester By the Sea and A Dogs Purpose were shown in June. The movies begin at two o’clock and are scheduled to last until approximately four o’clock. Free popcorn is offered at each of the movies.

July will see one special movie showings outside of the usual Saturday ones. First, a special showing of Hacksaw Ridge will occur on Tuesday, July 4 at 2 p.m., but potential viewers should be advised the film is rated R for language and violence. The other special date is Friday, July 14 at 7 p.m. when Eagles Farewell Tour- Live From Melbourne will be shown. Echard also hinted that the July 14 showing will feature Garrett’s Popcorn all the way from Chicago. The regular Saturday showings in July will feature Trouble with the Curve on July 8 and Wild Hogs on July 22.

Those interested in learning more about Thurmont Main Street should visit or stop in at the Thurmont Main Street Center, located at 11 Water Street, which is open on Saturday and Sunday from noon to four.

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