Council hears 2 presentations for Vali 3 Theater

MONTE VISTA — Two special presentations were made during the Monte Vista City Council meeting on Thursday, March 16. One by the owner and manager of multiple radio stations in Monte Vista, Bob Richards, and one by Barb Sears of the Valley Church of the Nazarene. The presentations were given by each with hope that they would be chosen to take over the Vali 3 Theater in town.

Last year the council decided that the Vali 3 Theater was costing the city too much to keep afloat. The city decided to either auction it off or give the theater to an individual or business to take over as long as it would remain an entertainment venue or theater for several years.

An initial request for proposals was made by the city last year. One previous presentation was made but had to be amended, and the city decided to reopen the proposals.

On March 16 at City Hall, Richards gave his proposal for the space in Downtown Monte Vista with a screen presentation. Richards began by showing the council how he had already invested in three local radio stations, that were about to be closed, and how he had increased their revenue within three years by 36.9%.

Richards said he could do the same for the Vali 3 Theater. His idea was to make the space a combined entertainment and broadcast complex.

Richards said he would remodel the theater and move his radio stations into the smallest theater and install a window for the public to view the broadcasts taking place as they walk by the building and as they walk into the hallway of the building.

Richards said the lobby would be reconfigured with a new ticket booth and would sell physical and online tickets for the theater. Richards also plans to decorate the lobby with over 100 pieces of music memorabilia complete with autograph pictures and guitars, as well as historical musical artifacts.

Richards wants to create a place residents can enjoy before and after events, reminiscent of the Hard Rock Café. Richards also spoke of building a large stage in front of the biggest theatre for live concerts, open mic nights, comedy nights, community theatre and other live forms of entertainment.

Richards said he wants to purchase another projector for the smaller theater and update the marquee sign in the front with digital signage. He could also apply for a liquor license to serve wine and beer, along with expanding the regular concession stand to include nachos, ice cream, and baked goods from local bakeries.

Richards added that showing different movies to target different crowds, including senior matinees held on a certain day. A day that senior living facilities would be encouraged to bring seniors to the show, for an afternoon movie.

Richards would also host a Spanish movie night, a Thursday movie night, and a Friday movie matinee, as many children are off on Fridays and can enjoy a movie at the theater.

Richards would also like to host a Saturday and Sunday movie Matinee, with different movies. Richards also spoke of showing NFL games and pay-per view events on the big screen, pending permission.

Richards also wants to offer free family movie nights.

Richards talked about bringing in live concerts and partnering with the Creede Reparatory Theatre to offer play nights. He also would like to allow kids to game against each other on a big screen.

During his presentation Richards also gave calculations of the projected possible attendees for the events. Richards then fielded questions from the council concerning lease terms that would be acceptable.

Sears of the Valley Church of the Nazarene followed and gave the church’s plan for the Vali 3 Theater.

Sears said the church is a nonprofit organization and a big part of the community. The church hosts open gym nights, men’s breakfast, women and teen’s ministry, and holds church services.

Sears showed how the church uses its facilities for weddings, funerals, and many community events.

Sears talked about the three retail stores they have in town including the Nazarene Thrift Store, Finer Blessings, and NTS for Kids. The stores sell quality merchandise and employ 26 people.

The Nazarene Thrift Store gives back by giving money and items to people in need. The store has helped people who have needed to pay bills, obtain tires, or other needs that they may have. The Nazarene stores helped people affected by the fire in town, first responders and the local food bank. They have donated items to the Monte Vista Band Program, the Early Learning Center, the local Head Start and Monte Vista Kids Connection. They have also given out thousands of dollars to charities.

Sears said the Valley Church of the Nazarene would like to turn the theater space into a Christian and family friendly movie establishment. Ticket sales would be anywhere from zero to $5. The snack bar would be expanded.

Movies would still be offered, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with potential matinee viewing and special showings for Pirate Pride Day, Senior Citizens Day, Del Norte schools, Adams State University day and after prom, and Spanish Speaking movies would be offered.

One person would work at the theater with volunteers. Sears said that she would make the bathrooms compliantwithin about 12 months.

Sears said a coffee shop would also be opened in the third theater that has sound-proof capabilities for residents to enjoy social gatherings, and bible studies. They could also employ 3-5 people in the coffee shop.

The second theater would be opened for theatre and play productions, recitals, musical events, speaking engagements, and could be rented to businesses and organizations. The addition of another restroom would also be needed in that area.

Sears said the church is willing to pay $5,000 for the theater and take it upon themselves to provide all improvements needed. The property would be funded by the Valley Church of the Nazarene and grants available to them as a nonprofit organization.

Sears said that the establishment would remain a movie theater and, if ever sold, every effort would be made to keep the venue a movie theater. Sears said their mission is to keep the building a theater, make it a safe place for parents to take their kids, make the movies family friendly and Christian and this would mean targeting a different audience than any competitors.

The vision is to make this a space for the community to gather and enjoy, rather than just a for-profit endeavor. Sears also showed projected income and expenses. Sears invited questions, but the council members said the proposal was clear.

The pastor of the church was at the meeting and stated that their proposal was of hope for the community. He stated that in this day and time what everyone everywhere really needed was hope. He also offered prayers for guidance in whatever council members decide.

The council moved to hold a vote at their next meeting, with citizen comments a possibility. If anyone is interested in seeing the presentations before the vote, they can look them up and view them on YouTube under City of Monte Vista. For more information, contact the City of Monte Vista directly at City Hall.

In other matters, the City Council also officially appointed B.J. Bumgardner to the Planning and Zoning Board, and Sandra Varner and Cameron Roberts, were also approved to serve on the URA Board.

The next City Council meeting will be held on April 6.