The movie theater at Towson Commons closed permanently Sunday, according to a WJZ report. With the recent closing of the AMC Loews Valley Center 9 in Owings Mills, the options for movie theaters in the area are slim.
The closest option for Owings Mills and Reisterstown residents is the at the Owings Mills Mall, but some residents say that’s not an option.
“I don’t feel safe going down into Owings Mills into the movie theater,” said Sue Kessler, director of the Police Community Relations Council for Baltimore County Police, . “I don’t even feel safe going to the Owings Mills Mall.”
A path from the Metro Center to the mall was closed in 1992 after a mall employee leaving work was shot and killed, according to a Baltimore Sun report. An graduate was killed in 2001 after a drug deal gone bad, according to the Owings Mills Times.
But Lt. Stephen Doarnberger of Franklin Precinct No. 3 said there hasn’t been much police activity in the area recently.
"The Owings Mills cinema has been quiet lately," said Doarberger. "We've had some issues down there, but most of them are in the past."
AMC Theatres hired Baltimore County officers through the department's secondary employment program a few years ago to help respond to incidents—the same program that accounts for uniformed officers at the Cherry Valley Shopping Center and the Cherry Hill Shopping Center. The support helped reduce the number of calls Franklin police officers have had to respond to at the Owings Mills theater, Doarnberger said.
"I know it helped us a good bit," he said.
Owings Mills used to host the second theater at Valley Center, which was situated in the rear of the shopping center at Reisterstown and Greenspring Valley Roads. Mujtaba Rabbani Jabbar opened fire and shot Pikesville resident Paul Schrum to death there in 2006 during a showing of "X-Men: The Last Stand," according to a Washington Post report.
Kessler said people she knows go to the movies at the TownMall of Westminster.
Reisterstown resident Mary Molinaro, whose youngest child is 23, said she used to take her kids to the movies at the Owings Mills mall years ago. It might be different if her kids were growing up now, she said.
“It doesn’t have the impression of being a safe place to go,” she said.