There’s no business like show business
Capitol Theater is officially open for business today, though a private party took advantage of the popcorn maker and fountain drinks on Wednesday.|Bret Hartman|
Wednesday night, just hours after receiving that all-important certificate of occupancy, the Capitol Theater opened for a private party celebrating the new movie theater’s place in Eagle Ranch. The theater opens to the public today at 7 p.m.
The place was bubbling with champagne, popcorn and about 400 folks curious about the new movie house, which has four screens and 640 seats. Owner Steve Lindstrom, who also owns Crossroads, Cascade and Riverwalk Theaters, is pleased that they’ve finally been able to open. The project was plagued with bad luck, as one thing after another delayed it.
“With more screens we’ll have more opportunities to play the smaller pictures,” said Lindstrom.
Most of Wednesday’s attendees were from Eagle Ranch; most everyone seemed delighted with the place.
Andrew and Patricia Buechel moved to Eagle from Edwards this June.
“Eagle has changed in the past few years,” said Andrew. “It seemed so far away five years ago, but now… there’s a real community feel to it.”
The Buechels have two kids. Though they’re a bit young to be fans at this point, Andrew envisions it happening sooner or later since both he and his wife are big movie fans.
“It’s great that it’s in walking distance,” he added. “It’s got such a classic look to it.”
Tanya Caruso brought her 8-month-old daughter, Isabella, to check out the place. She spent a lot of time driving between Edwards and Eagle this summer.
“I was pregnant, and it was so hot,” she said. “I had to get out of the heat, so I went to a lot of matinees at Riverwalk. I’m really glad to have this theater in walking distance.”
Karen Carlson and her husband moved to Eagle Ranch from Michigan 11 months ago to “get away from the winters.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled, it’s a fantastic facility,” she said. “It’s part of the dream of Eagle Ranch, being party of a neighborhood. I grew up walking to school. It represents a lot of the values we hoped to find out here.”
The updated old-timey look of Capitol Theater adds to the small-town feel with a little bit of inventive gloss. The marquis is big enough to get the information across without dishing out sensory overload; it speaks to a time when movie magic was the norm. The theater was designed by Sally Brainerd of RKD, a local architecural firm.
“We were looking for something that would fit in with a small, downtown area,” said LIndstrom.
“I love this type of revival in architecture,” said Karen. “It’s all part of the neighborhood feel, with front porches and all. I know all my neighbors, and even the dogs know each other around here.”
Bill Carlson is all for the new theater and what it might mean for the town.
“It’s going to be a catalyst for the town of Eagle,” he said. “It will spur more businesses and more people to come here. It’ll be a neat social magnet for the people of Eagle.”
His only concerns come from the traffic patterns currently in place. The homes along Capitol and Broadway have experienced a steady increase of cars along their street as the town has grown.
Such growth doesn’t dampen Mickey Werner’s enthusiasm.
“God bless ’em,” he responded. “I look forward to seeing Eagle grow.”
Werner was a theater minor in college, and has always been a fan of moving pictures. He was raised on them, and lists one of his favorites as Blake Edwards’ “The Great Race,” what he describes as an obscure comedy. He saw it as a kid.
“I learned how to ride the bus when I was 7,” he said. “And we had a movie theater a short bus ride away from my house. I’d go every Saturday afternoon and watch whatever they had. So this theater so close reminds me of my childhood.”
“Except it’s in walking distance, so it’s a little bit better,” he added.
Capitol Theater is open for business beginning today. For movie times and listings, call 476-5661.
Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.