This is a conceptual rendering of the four-screen movie theater that Craig residents Dale and Andrea Camp want to build this year. The couple plans to build on a now-empty lot west of the Hampton Inn & Suites, which is under construction off First Street.

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This is a conceptual rendering of the four-screen movie theater that Craig residents Dale and Andrea Camp want to build this year. The couple plans to build on a now-empty lot west of the Hampton Inn & Suites, which is under construction off First Street.

Theater developers eye end-of-year, holiday film release opening

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At a glance

• Four screens, stadium seating, concession stand and arcade on 2.6 acre lot next to the Hampton Inn & Suites

• Building would encompass 13,765 square feet and would seat 90 to 120 people per screen, or about 400 people total.

• Facility would have capability to expand to two more screens

• Estimated construction cost is more than $2 million

By Christmas, Craig residents could have a new movie theater on the west side of town to watch the latest holiday new releases.

"That's really what we'd like to see happen because typically there are so many great movies that come out around the holiday season," said Andrea Camp, who along with her husband, Dale Camp, is attempting to complete their long-planned theater project by the end of the year. "We'd love to see it opened by then."

The Camps, who have owned Great Divide Cleaning Service, a commercial and residential carpet cleaning business, since March 2001, are the developers behind Craig Cinemas Four.

For the past four years, the couple has been working on the project, which will be located on a 2.6-acre lot next to the Hampton Inn & Suites in Craig, on Cedar Court and First Street.

Although plans haven't been finalized, the theater is scheduled to entail four screens - with the capability to expand to two more - stadium-style seating, a concession stand and an arcade.

Overall, the theater will encompass 13,765 square feet and seat about 400 people, or 90 to 120 people per screen.

The Camps are working with American Family Entertainment Centers, a company that specializes in building theaters in smaller communities, like Craig, in the Western states.

Andrea said she and her husband once considered building a strip mall on their property but changed their minds and chose to pursue a venture they think many people in Craig would enjoy.

"I just think it's great entertainment for families, and everyone enjoys going to the movies," she said. "I mean, lots of times when we head out of town, we go to the movies to the new theaters with stadium seating and all of those upgrades.

"It's just a great experience, and we felt like we wanted to bring something like that to Craig."

Construction has not started on the project. The Camps recently received bids back from contractors and are attempting to decide on a builder.

The ballpark price for the theater is more than $2 million, Andrea said.

"We're hoping to be out there starting construction by mid-August," she said. "I would say it would take four to six months to build. : That's what we're hoping for. We're hoping 2009 would be the year we can finally make this happen.

"We're working and doing everything we can to make it happen."

A purchaser for American Family Entertainment Centers will make the selections on what films the movie theater will screen, Andrea said. The goal for the selections, she added, will be to provide variety.

"We'll certainly try, and with having four screens, it will make it a little easier," she said.

The number of theater-goers will be the primary determining factor for if, and when, the theater expands its two other screens.

"The demand would have to certainly be there," Andrea said. "If we feel, within the next five years, that it's doing really well and it's successful enough to support two additional theaters, that's something we would definitely look at doing."

The theater also will serve as more than just entertainment.

Andrea said each of the four theaters would be available to businesses and organizations to use for presentations during the day, when movies are not showing.

"That is something we'd like to make available to the community," she said.

There also will be three party rooms within the theater's arcade, which would be available for birthday parties or gatherings.

But the Camps' project might not be limited solely to the movie theater. There also is space reserved on their lot for a 3,000-square-foot retail building. As of now, there is no tenant for the retail building.

"It probably won't be built initially with the movie theater, but there is the potential for us to put that in," Andrea said.

The area near the movie theater is home to several hotels, a soon-to-be expanding Colorado Northwestern Community College campus and a new The Memorial Hospital site. There also are other commercial lots for sale in the area.

With the hotels already there, the CNCC and TMH building projects, the commercial lots available and the addition of the movie theater and potential retail building, it's looking as though west Craig could be a new hub for the city.

"We're really excited with the college expansion and the hospital building out," Andrea said. "I think things are moving west of town and that it could be a really great location."

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