DERRY — A local movie theatre has ceased to operate and new owners are hoping to find homes for more than 2,000 cinema seats.

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The Derry Five Star Cinema off Ashleigh Drive, closed for more than a year, has now been sold to a Nashua-based developer hoping to redevelop the site into various other uses.

The new owner is Allen J. Mello, co-owner and Vice President of Allen Mello Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Nashua.

Mello purchased the 10-acre cinema property last month from Toronto, Ontario-based Slate Asset Management. 

According to Derry Planning Director George Sioras, the new property owner is still working on plans on how to redevelop the property, with more details on planning to come before town boards later this spring.

And as part of the plan, Sioras said there are more than 2,000 theatre seats needing to find a new home and that Mello hoped to find them a proper spot for future use.

"He said he was looking to donate to a nonprofit or a theatre group," Sioras said. "He doesn"t want them thrown away."

The Five-Star Cinema closed over a year ago, and due to COVID-19 concerns wasn"t opened again for business.

The new sale will give the property opportunities to be used for various other retail or development plans, Sioras said, with more information on plans and design to come before planners later this year.

Sioras said Derry has seen new business coming to town, including new prospects for the former Nestle Toll House business on Crystal Avenue and new restaurants hoping to call Derry home.

"We are staying steady," Sioras said, adding that business continues on as usual, but without the person-to-person, in person meetings and opportunities that were welcome pre-COVID-19.

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