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North Adams Cinemas Planning to Reopen

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The North Adams cinemas are expected to reopen this Friday under new management.

The MoviePlex 8 closed abruptly a month ago when its parent company, Cinema North Corp. of Rutland, Vt., went bankrupt.

At the time, Neil Ellis, owner of Steeple City Plaza where the theaters are located, said he was aware of the company's financial issues and had been working on ways to keep the theaters open.

On Tuesday, Mayor John Barrett III said Ellis had informed him that the theaters would reopen under a management agreement with a Greenfield theater company.

Ellis could not be reached for comment but the cinema marquee was quietly changed on Tuesday with recent and opening films, including the much-anticipated "New Moon" from the "Twilight" series.

On the bottom corner of the marquee for Theater 4, the morbid "Final Destination" was replaced by the more optimistic "Opening Friday."

The listings also include "2012," "Planet 51," "Capitalism: A Love Story," "A Christmas Carol," "The Men Who Stare At Goats," "Blind Side" and "Where the Wild Things Are."

Final details were reportedly being ironed out and a more formal announcement is expected on Wednesday.

Some of Cinema North's seven other properties may also reopen. Several franchises are bidding for the lease to the MoviePlex 9 in Rutland, according to the Rutland Herald, and the MoviePlex 8 in Greenport, N.Y., was purchased by a former Cinema North partner who's looking at a second theater as well, said the Catskill Daily Mail.
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Northern Berkshire United Way Sets $480K Campaign Goal

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Christine and Peter Hoyt are this year's campaign co-chairs. Their goal is to raise $480,000 over the next year. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Northern Berkshire United Way supports 20 member agencies in the work they do addressing social, health, youth and family services throughout the region. 
Two of those agencies — Louison House and Community Legal Aid — highlighted some of the efforts within the community at United Way's annual campaign kick on Wednesday morning at Norad Mill. 
The agency also announced its new slate of officers and board members, including President Kelly McCarthy and Vice President Tyler Bissaillon, and took a moment to remember the contributions of the late Stephen Green, a longtime community activist and former campaign co-chair with his wife, Susanne Walker.
"While our hearts in our community at large are at a loss for a man who truly embody all of the characteristics and traits that we acknowledge as Northern Berkshire, such as honesty, integrity, commitment, selfless service, dedication, we can be comforted in knowing that his legacy lives on," said Jennifer Meehan, vice chair of Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, of which Green was a board member and former president. 
Kathy Keeser, executive director of Louison House, described the history of the shelter that opened more than three decades ago after the closure of Sprague Electric and other local mills devastated the economy. Founded by Theresa Louison, the agency has expanded to provide emergency shelter, family housing, transitional housing, preventive services and, soon, a youth shelter facility. 
Housing is a growing need while at the same time, housing costs are rising, she said, and this effects particularly the people Louison House serves, people who don't have savings or credit — "who are at the last chance of an apartment."
"People are really struggling, but it's our community connections and it's our work with other agencies," Keeser said. "We do a piece of the puzzle. Ours is about getting them out to housing — working with mental health, substance abuse, all the other agencies around to help us do that. And the United Way has been a big part of that, along with Williamstown Community Chest, and so many other businesses and individuals that support us. So it is the community that helps us succeed and helps us do what we're doing."
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