THOMASTON — The Flagship Cinemas property at 9 Moody Drive is up for sale with the price listed at $2,675,000, but the plans to sell it are tentative.

Joe Malone of Malone Commercial Brokers said the business owner is tentative in putting the property up for sale and at a crossroads in deciding whether to sell the property or invest in refurbishing it and keeping it going. He described the decision as “50-50.”

The property has been up for sale for about four weeks, according to Malone.

“We were told a few months ago that if summer sales were not up to par, we might be closing,” said Flagship General Manager Caylie Anderson. She said the owner told employees the property would be put on the market to see if it would sell.

“We’ve been doing really well,” she said of the summer box office. However, she said she was concerned about going into September which tends to be a slower month for the business. There is a tendency for a dropping-off in sales from the summer going into the fall.

She confirmed in the movie theater business concessions are just as important, if not more, than ticket sales, so those looking to support the local cinemas should buy popcorn, drinks and candy, as well as a ticket to a movie.

The business has about 14 employees.

Malone confirmed they had reached out to the nearby car dealerships to see if there was interest in the property, but so far that has not yielded a sale. Steve “Hoaty” Houghton of Key Auto Group, which recently purchased Rockland Ford said Monday his company did not need the movie theater property.

The cinemas include 10 theaters in various sizes and play first-run, mainstream movies including major film franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars. The film industry was hit hard by the global COVID-19 pandemic, but has seen strong showing this year with films such as “Top Gun: Maverick,” which brought in over $1 billion globally, according to Variety.

The theater has 21,831 square feet of space, with a 7.8-acre parcel and large parking lot.

It is noted in the real estate listing it has the potential for warehouse conversion. Malone said the company that owns the business is a good operator, so it stands to reason if the property needs to be sold, it might mean looking at alternative uses.

The owner is listed as Steam Ship Associates LLC, out of Cambridge, Mass., and John Crowley is referred to as the owner of the property.

Flagship Cinemas has 16 locations in Maine, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. Five of those cineplexes are in Maine.

A sign for Malone Commercial Brokers next to the Flagship Cinemas sign on Route 1 in Thomaston. Photo by Daniel Dunkle

It has not been an easy time for the movie theater business. It was announced in The Republican Journal Aug. 11 the Colonial Theatre in Belfast will “go dark” Sept. 19. The owners are in hopes someone will buy that theater and keep it going for the community.

The Strand Theatre in Rockland underwent extensive renovations in 2005 and turned into a non-profit in 2014. The Strand and Flagship have operated in the same community while occupying different niches for years. The Strand offers a variety of live performances, special interest events such as the Metropolitan Opera and art house and independent films.

Meanwhile, the area around Flagship has become an epicenter of development. Contractors have been clearing land in behind the Flagship parking lot for a solar farm project, and a Starbucks is planned for between Flagship and Dunkin Donuts.

Workers have been busy at the site of a future solar farm behind Flagship Cinemas. Photo by Daniel Dunkle