Tabernacle purchases Moorlyn Theatre

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OCEAN CITY — Last week Ocean City Tabernacle received a designated gift sufficient to purchase the Moorlyn Theatre on the Ocean City Boardwalk between Eighth and Ninth streets. That section of the building includes four screens, projections booths, film equipment, and the lobby with refreshment stand and restrooms.

Tentative plans from the Tabernacle include one of the screen auditoriums to continue to show first-run movies, with titles selected for the boardwalk’s family resort audience. Another screen in the four-plex will be adapted to provide facilities for weeknight worship and other live events particularly designed for boardwalk patrons and workers. Children’s activities and Christian films will round out the offerings in the other two screen rooms.

The gift was conditional upon the purchase of the theater. The Trustees of the Tabernacle Association voted to accept the gift at a special meeting Aug. 10, following two years of discussion with donors. The trustees expressed “great appreciation” for this generous contribution and indicated their confidence that it will be used with good stewardship to serve the residents and visitors of Ocean City. No mortgage was necessary, but the Tabernacle will need to raise the funds to convert to digital movies and to add a stage for live programs.

Work on the idea began over two years ago when one of the boardwalk’s most active merchants talked with the Tabernacle Board Chair Todd Chamberlain and President Richard Stanislaw about the need to improve the appearance of the theater located opposite the Music Pier.

Wanting to maintain family entertainment on the boardwalk, as well as expand the ministry, the Tabernacle Board of Trustees did briefly consider purchasing the building, but, until this designated gift, did not have the funding.

“This is a natural extension of the Tabernacle’s service to the community that already occurs through the after-school program and extensive summer worship and concerts,” Chamberlain said.

Stanislaw added that “motion pictures are a major cultural influence and the boardwalk needs to continue to have such recreation available.”

Asked about content of some Hollywood movies, he added that the Tabernacle “does not intend to include R rated films, but will provide varied options complimentary to America's Greatest Family Resort.”

The venue will be called “Moorlyn Family Theatre.”


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