It’s officially been one year since Robert Wright and Anthony Fykes opened NextAct Cinema, the first and only black-owned movie theater in Maryland. 

Located on Reisterstown Road in Pikesville, NextAct Cinema opened in March of 2019 as an independent boutique theater offering both a unique and personalized movie-going experience.

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“The community has been great. The community has been extremely supportive of the theater. We’re working constantly to make sure that we give a good product. But it’s been going beyond our expectations” Fykes said in an interview with WMAR.

NextAct is one of only a few black-owned movie theaters in the country.

“It wasn’t until we launched the movie particularly early on” US ” that we really saw the impact and what this meant and then once we started getting a lot more publicity about this being the first black-owned theater in Maryland as well as one or two or three in the country that meant a lot and so we believe now that it’s extremely empowering,” Fykes added.

NextAct has a staff of 13, including one full-time employee. Fykes and Wright said they try to hire young people from the neighborhood whenever possible.

And when it comes to what’s next,  both hope that NextAct will function more like a small community center than as a traditional movie theater in the future.

“We’re doing a lot of events now. So, for example, we do live jazz, happy hours, karaoke, comedy shows, and birthday parties.”