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Steamboat Springs, CO: Chief Plaza 4's Closure May Be Wildhorse Stadium Cinemas' Gain

Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 12:49 PM by Scott Jentsch

The Carmike Chief Plaza 4 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado closed on September 6, 2012, according to an article in the Steamboat Today in August 29, 2012:

The downtown district in Steamboat Springs will be without a movie theater after Sept. 6. The Chief Plaza Theater operated by Carmike Cinemas is closing its doors that night, and the company is moving out its equipment.

The lease for Carmike Cinemas is up Oct. 1. The early closing date leaves the company time to pack up.

:

While the Chief may be in limbo after Carmike leaves, the renovation of the theater into a performing arts venue long has been the goal of the nonprofit group Friends of the Chief, of which Barnett is a board member. The contract between the group and building owner Michael Barry has been a drawn out, on-again, off-again affair.

“If everything goes right, we will be able to close on it before the end of the year,” Friends of the Chief spokesman Jim Cook said. “It’s all positive. It’s all moving forward.”

Apparently, this was a decision by Carmike not to renew its lease for the theater. Click the link above to read the full article. According to the Cinema Treasures web site, the Chief Plaza was originally a single screen theater when it opened more than 70 years ago, and was later converted to a four-screen operation at some unspecified date.

A subsequent article in the same publication titled Closing of Chief theater shakes up film market for Wildhorse says that the Chief Plaza's closure should mean that the Wildhorse Stadium Cinemas (also in Steamboat Springs) will have better access to the major movie releases each week, since they no longer have to share the selections with another theater in town:

What will bring more people through Corwin’s door is the Sept. 6 closing of the Chief Plaza Theater, which is operated by Carmike Cinemas. Corwin — who is the president of Metropolitan Theatres, which operates Wildhorse — estimated that when the Chief was open, his company’s theater still played the majority of the top films and absorbed as much as 80 percent of the revenue from film in the city. Now, Wildhorse will get the whole pie.

More than that, the closing of the Chief opens up the film distribution market in Steamboat. With two theaters in town, Steamboat was what Corwin referred to as an allocated market: Film distribution companies split upcoming theatrical releases into bundles that then are allocated to theaters in the market.

Alan Stokes, vice president of film marketing and advertising for Metropolitan Theatres, said that in a market like Steamboat, distributors will offer a package of films with two tracks, or lineups, of films. The tracks contain a mix of films, pairing strong films with weaker ones to reach some parity of offerings between tracks.

“There was a time when it was blind bidding,” Corwin said. “But not anymore.”

Click the link above to read the full article.

Aside from the Wildhorse Stadium Cinemas, the next closest theater is the West Theatre in Craig, almost 40 miles away.



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