Vail movie theaters in jeopardy
VAIL ” A deteriorating building and “deadly slow” business have caused Crossroads Cinema owner Steve Lindstrom to pull the plug on Vail Village’s movie theater. He doesn’t know if the theater will reopen, he said.
“It’s business reasons,” he said. “The building is such a mess. Everything there doesn’t work.”
The Crossroads building is deteriorating and is outdated, Lindstrom said. The heating and ventilation systems don’t work properly, he said.
The theater stopped showing movies after the Vail Film Festival, which ended April 2. The theater doesn’t normally stop showing movies during the offseasons.
“At the moment, we’re closed for an extended offseason,” he said. “We’ll take a breather and see what happens.”
Business has been slow over the winter, and part of that is probably due to the construction in the surrounding area, Lindstrom said. He hasn’t yet taken apart the interiors of the theaters, he said.
Crossroads owner Peter Knobel plans a new building at the site that will have a three-screen, state-of-the-art movie theater. The proposed building, called Solaris, also has condos, a bowling alley, stores, restaurants and a public plaza.
But the proposal, approved by the Town Council last month, has been challenged by residents who are gathering petitions to try to force a townwide vote on the proposal. Petitions are due April 20.
Lindstrom started operating the Crossroads theater in 1994, when then-owner Oscar Tang was planning a renovation of the building. But that plan fell through, and the original Crossroads building, opened in 1969, remains.
“We’ve been hanging on, supporting this theater for 12 years,” Lindstrom said. “We just can’t hang on any more.”
The Crossroads building has two theaters ” one that holds 260 people and another that holds 67 people.
Lindstrom plans to close the other theater in Vail, as well, which he also operates.
Plans are in the works to change the Cascade Village Theater and old Colorado Mountain College Center into a combination of shops, offices and condominiums.
Lindstrom is a partner in that project.
There’s a place for a movie theater in Vail, Lindstrom said.
“I think that a movie theater can be an important part of a revitalized commercial district,” Lindstrom said. “A movie theater can be a very important piece of the community.
Knobel’s Crossroads proposal should be built, Lindstrom said.
“As a Vail citizen, I think it would be great to see a new, very nice theater in Vail,” Lindstrom said. “Not because we would have anything to do with it, but as a citizen, it’s time to move on with that.”
Lindstrom said he is paying less to Knobel than he did to Tang.
Knobel’s director of leasing Craig Cohn said the theater has only been paying maintenance fees and taxes ” not rent.
“We’re sorry that there isn’t a theater open now, but it’s kind of out of our control,” Cohn said.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or firstname.lastname@example.org.