POLSON — A historic movie theater in downtown Polson recently finished up major renovations, bringing the big city theater experience to Lake County.
Six movie screens with state-of-the-art sound and projection quality recently finished renovations bringing new life to a historic Polson theater.
Showboat Stadium Six, formally known as Showboat Cinema finished renovations in late August, going from a two-screen theater to six and more than doubling in capacity size.
Showboat Stadium Six co-owner Gary Dupuis says the new theater was a dream project for his family, with construction starting in August of 2019. He says the finished product is a treat for movie-lovers.
“Friends of mine went to the movie the other day, they said well we don’t need to travel north or south anymore we have the big city experience right here,” Gary Dupuis said.
Co-owner Becky Dupuis says completely renovating the theater was no easy task during the middle of a pandemic.
With no income coming in due to nation-wide theater closure, Dupuis says her family relied heavily on COVID-19 relief to stay afloat.
She says a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through the small business association and a special Movie Theaters Assistant Grant Program through the office of then Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney, helped the small theater avoid disaster.
“We would have been bankrupt months ago without those programs because it’s a lot of money and when you’re not bringing any money in what do you with those, there is nothing to be done, so we feel very fortunate that they put those programs together,” Becky Dupuis stated.
She says the theater is part of a national association called “Cinema Safe” and is following strict COVID-19 safety guidelines for anyone entering the building. Becky noted that each theater is thoroughly sanitized after each screening and every other row is completely roped off in each theater to promote social distancing.
“Theoretically you’re never closer than six-feet to anyone in the auditorium unless you came in with them," Becky said.
She added that the increased number of screens will allow the theater to do some fun and unique showings down the road, including an art-house film series showcasing documentaries and independent films.
“I’m very excited about that because there are so many great films out there that people just don’t have access to,” Becky told MTN News.
The theater plans on having an official grand opening party once COVID-19 restrictions allow.
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