Local movie theaters working to rebound amid pandemic, looking forward to stimulus funds

Posted at 6:58 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-24 07:39:23-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — As we continue to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, local movie theaters finding ways to rebound and thrive with few resources and movies available.

Kimball Bayles has owned Kimball's Peak Three Theater, the only independent movie theater in Colorado Springs, for decades. With the pandemic, it's been hard to stay afloat.

"We've got nothing to sell here, we're not pumping popcorn out the front door and Pepsi. We're shut down, shut down," said Bayles. "I've only got my manager here on the payroll. Turn the heat down, turn the utilities way down and sit it out. The landlord has been great with us, very patient.

For theaters, November and December are considered some of their busiest months of the year. Being closed due to current restrictions and without a lot of options for movies, they're losing out on much-needed revenue.

"It's sad, it's brutal. This is when we make most of our money and some good films out, independent, blockbusters, there's a lot to choose from," said Bayles.

Bayles adapting amid the pandemic by streaming movies on their website with plans to expand the service.

"We're opening a bigger platform in the New Year where we're going to have more films, 100 to 150 films. It will be easier for people to stream right to their TV," said Bayles.

He's also hoping funds from the $900 billion COVID-19 Relief Package will offer some assistance. The latest relief bill has earmarked $15 billion in stimulus funding for entertainment venues, movie theaters, and museums.

"I got an email from US Bank saying how it's going to break out money for rent, and maintenance," said Bayles.

With the funds, he would pay rent, utilities, and bring employees back to work. He says the community can help by donating or taking advantage of their streaming service on their website.