There are approximately 70 independent, locally-owned movie theaters located outside the Front Range, all of which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of these theaters are on rural main streets and have an interdependent relationship with art galleries, bars, restaurants and retailers along the same strip. Theaters are an integral part of communities’ social fabric.
Between the lack of new content coming out of Hollywood during the pandemic, the rise of streaming services and the public health crisis that forced theaters to shut their doors, local owners and operators have been hit hard. Local theaters have learned to get creative with their solutions--by hosting meetings, birthday parties, private screenings and other special events, theaters continue to serve their communities. As vaccination rates rise and new safety protocols are put in place, theaters are re-opening and welcoming audiences with open arms.
Throughout October, we are using our #ShopLocalColorado campaign to highlight local theaters across the state.
Local theaters across the state
The Paradise Theatre
The Paradise Theatre, based in Paonia, is a nonprofit theater offering first showings of current films as well as historical classics. The theater is alive with events and will be hosting their own film festival November 6th through November 7th.
Kress Cinema and Lounge
The Kress Cinema and Lounge is Greeley’s only independent cinema, located in an historic building. One of its unique features is a quaint speakeasy, open on the weekends until 11pm. Kress is open seven days a week for movie showings and offers private rentals and special events like weddings, holiday parties and independent movie premiers. Kress is preparing for special Halloween showings in October, holiday movie series in December and “Oscar Season.” Oscar Season will take place late fall to early spring with showings of the best films of the year.
Historic Park Theatre
The Historic Park Theatre is a family-owned theater located in Estes Park. The Park Theatre is currently preparing for the Rocky Horror Picture Show on October 30th. If you have yet to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show, visit the theater to see the story of a newly engaged couple who has a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
The Crystal Theatre in Carbondale welcomes vaccinated guests to attend one of their many screenings. The theater is currently open Friday through Monday and offers many captioned films that can be enjoyed by everyone.
The Fox Theatre in Walsenburg is an independent movie theater. Screening current and classic movies, Fox Theatre is a volunteer-run nonprofit. Join the theater Friday through Sunday for one of their many screenings including family fun and upcoming Halloween films.
The Riverwalk Theater is a family and community-focused theater in Edwards. The theater is open seven days a week for both public and private screenings. The Riverwalk is currently preparing for a screening of Matchstick Productions’ new ski film The Stomping Grounds on November 11th. The screening is a fundraiser for the local Colorado Avalanche Information Center and is presented in partnership with local bike shop The Kind Bikes and Skis. Visit the Riverwalk for their lo-fi cafe, offering cocktails, beer, wine, ice cream, snacks, barbecue sandwiches and more.
Support for local theaters
To support a local theater near you, consider attending a screening, event or festival, donating, reserving a private theater or purchasing on-screen advertising. If you aren’t sure how to support your local theater, reach out to them and ask what services they offer to learn more.
If you are a Colorado theater seeking support, please explore these resources:
- Colorado Arts Relief Grant
- National Association of Theater Owners
- Film Festival Support and Promotion Grant
- CLIMBER Loan Fund
- Colorado Revolving Loan Fund
Visit our program directory to find other opportunities to support your business.