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Golden Belt Cinema 6 expected to bring thousands downtown

POSTED November 23, 2011 2:09 p.m.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of articles about the development of a new downtown theater in Great Bend.)

While it’s expected that the Great Bend City Council will approve civic involvement in the development of Golden Belt Cinema 6 at its next meeting, the council learned this week that a great deal of private funding will go into the project.
In fact it is expected that when the deal is all done, the result will be the addition of about $2.5 million in new construction in the downtown area, not to mention the other positive impacts the project will have for the downtown area.
Mayor Mike Allison commented at Monday nights’ council meeting that every economic development plan for the community for years has included the need for a new theater, and the community was excited this past year when local businessmen Dennis Call and Chad Sommers invested about a half million dollars in purchasing and renovating the current triple theater on west 10th Street.
Call and Sommers told the council Monday night this next step will be an even larger investment and will be a huge step towards making the community an important destination for this region of the state.
Call explained the plan is for there to be new construction for a smaller facility for Bank of the West, as the south end of the block, where the part of the current parking lot is located.
Then the current bank building will be demolished and the new six-screen theater will be constructed. He explained there will be three sizes of theaters in the development, from one large theater to the smaller, which will still seat about 70.
While the expanded theater will be an enjoyable addition for the local residents, Call noted there is another aspect for his business, BMI and other local firms that continue to expand.
What they have long since learned, he said, is that recruiting employees to the community would be easier if there were more options for entertainment, without having to leave town.
A major component of that is the ability to see major motion pictures in an enjoyable atmosphere.
Also, the facility will bring others to town for entertainment and that will impact retail and service businesses. It is estimated that the project could bring around 100,000 people to town each year, which opens opportunities to existing businesses all through the community, as well as in downtown, Call urged.
The city package of incentives will be voted on at the next city council meeting, planned for Dec. 5. The schedule calls for the new theaters to open around April, 2013, it was added.


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