Posted 6:42 PM 3/18/2013 : Canon City movie theater facing possible closure
Modernizing has its costs; for one struggling old-timey movie theater in historic Canon City, it might cost them everything. They'll be shutting their doors for good if they can't generate enough money to transition from film to digital.
Starting in September, movies will only be distributed digitally, forcing theaters to upgrade. At a cost of $80,000 per screen, that could mean the end of an era. With little business to fund the upgrade the theater could go under, and with it a piece of history. "Canon City had a long history of filming movies here, when we used to have Buckskin Joe's outside of town we used to film a lot of westerns here. They would do actual premieres here with the movie stars showing up to premiere movies," Linda Epperson, co-owner of Skyline Theater told News 5's Jacqui Heinrich in an interview.
The possibility of losing the theater hits close to home for the family who owns it; the theater houses generations of memories. "I get emotional because this theater meant so much to my mom and she died a year ago this month. She remembered this theater when she was a little girl. She lived in this town and came to this theater," Epperson said.
Epperson's mother worked the box office and concession stand, jobs her children do now even on days when it's just not worth it. "Not every movie comes out as Avatar or Harry Potter. Instead we get some movies like this movie we have here right now, there hasn't been a lot of customers wanting to come to this movie. One night we showed it for one person. We lost money that night but we showed it for one person because we don't know what it takes for a person to maybe drive down from Buena Vista to come down and watch a movie or hurry up with dinner so they can come down and watch a movie," Epperson said.
It may not be a happy ending but without substantial investment, final curatin call approaches fast at Skyline Theater.
If you'd like to donate money to help save the theater, the owners have established a fund at High Country Bank in Canon City under 'Skyline Theater'.