The Weyburn Theatre Community Service Cooperative, a new organization in the Opportunity City, announced a new theatre is coming to Weyburn.
At a press event at the old Soo Theatre this afternoon, the non-profit organization announced that they will bring first-run movies back to Weyburn with a two-screen movie theatre.
President of the Weyburn Theatre Community Service Cooperative, Ryan Janke said they purchased the property for $1.
“Landmark Cinemas really wants to be in the theatre business and they want to be in Weyburn and unfortunately with construction costs and labor costs that doesn’t really makes sense for their business model right now,” said Janke. “But they were really excited to help us get where we are, so they donated $100,000 to this project and they also gave us this property at the price of $1.”
Janke said there are a number of community-run theatres organized the same way they are.
“Dauphin, Manitoba is an excellent example. They’re community-owned the same way we intend to be and they raised money just the same way we did, and they've had a lot of success with that. They're part of a theater group that we're going to join that allows us to buy films from the studio with 300 screens to our name as opposed to going at it alone and trying to make a deal with them with only two.”
The project will cost around $3.2 million.
There are a few sponsorship opportunities including naming Sponsor for $500,000, Theatre A Sponsor for $250,000, Theatre B Sponsor for $150,000, and Concession Sponsor for $75,000.
The old Soo Theatre will be demolished, and the new theatre will be built on the same property. Construction will begin when the organization hits its fundraising goals.
The old theatre has been closed for about five years.
Some of those in attendance commented on the news:
"I think it's a fantastic announcement for Weyburn, and the community, and the whole area, so I look at what Estevan's doing at their theatre, and I think we could certainly model that here."
"It's good news because it's been a long time waiting, you know, and it's nice to fill up even the empty space."
"This is fantastic! In a town of Weyburn's size, we should be able to support this, and especially with the cost of gas, when we're likely to go out for dinner and then come see a movie, (versus going to Regina), I'm not staying out too late."
"This is such a cool experience. I can't wait to take my daughter here. It's a long time coming and this is just incredible. Thank you so much to everyone involved."
"I think it's a great idea. I mean, it's been way too long. I think that having two theatres it gives people options, and I think it's awesome."
"It's good to see. Hopefully they can raise enough funds to make it come through."