Valley City will get a new movie theater by Nov. 1, said Jeremy Zako of Bismarck, who plans to call the theater Cinema Flix.
Jennifer Feist of the Valley City-Barnes County Development Corp. introduced the Bismarck resident to county commissioners Monday morning, at the same time as she asked commissioners to provide a $25,000 grant to help the theater open from development corp. budget.
Commissioners voted 5-0 to provide the requested grant.
Feist told county commissioners she also planned to ask Valley City commissioners for another $25,000 grant from development corp. budget to help bring in the theater.
Zako currently owns and operates the Cinema Flix Theater in Hazen. He said he plans to fully renovate the former Valley City movie theater on West Main Street, with a new digital movie projector, a new concession booth and seating.
Zako said the new theater will be two screens, as was the former theater. He told county commissioners he plans to employ from 10 to 18 part-time employees, plus possibly a full-time assistant manager for the theater. He said plans are to open Nov. 1 at the latest, or possibly as early as Oct. 25.
Feist told commissioners Zako has eight years experience operating movie theaters. The theater would be owned by Zako, building owner Casey Stoudt and the bank, and Zako plans to put $325,000 into the new business. “We (the development corp.) really support this project, and really want it to open by Nov. 1” Feist said.
Zako explained November and December are big months for movie theaters” and “we need to hit that running fast.” He added he plans to begin renovations this week. Zako was in the theater building Monday afternoon checking it out and starting on needed work.
Zako said ticket prices will be $6 and $5, and shows will run several times weekdays and weekends, with final show times decided based on when customers want to see movies.
County Commissioner Rodger Berntson said Zako has a good reputation in Hazen.
Zako said the new theater will have 7.1 dolby digital equipment. He also plans to make the theater available for local businesses to make presentations when movies aren't being shown.
Read this story in Wednesday's Times-Record.