Centre Theater new lease

L-R Montpelier Community Foundation President Steve Allred, Montpelier Mayor Jared Sharp, Board Treasurer Hillary Lund, Board Secretary Michelle Higley, Foundation Grant Writer Shannon Holjeson, Idanha Theatre Owners and Centre Theatre Operators Camille & Shane Petersen, Board Members John Lusk and Jared Sharp, and Board Vice President Shane Johnson.

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As part of the Montpelier Community Foundation’s efforts to revitalize the downtown business district in Montpelier, the foundation recently announced the acquisition of the Centre Theatre building.

In a landmark purchase and donation arrangement that took months to negotiate and complete, T T & S Entertainment, Inc., has handed over the keys of the facility to the Foundation as the new owners. All theatre and concession equipment is also part of the transfer.

The Foundation also announced a three-year operating agreement with C & S Theatre Management, LLC, owned by Camille and Shane Petersen to open up and operate the Centre Theatre. The Petersen’s have owned and operated the Idanha Theatre on Main Street in downtown Soda Springs, Idaho, for the past six years. The Centre Theatre’s name will continue under the same name.

Since the theatre has been closed for over a year due to Covid-19, current plans are to upgrade equipment, complete needed building repairs, and conduct general clean up in order to be open to the public by the end of May 2021. Until more movies become available from the movie industry, the plan is to be open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday each week, in the evenings, with possible Saturday matinees. Additional details will be announced as plans come together.

In another welcome move, Emily Keetch will continue to participate in the operations of the Centre Theatre. Keetch and her family have provided staffing and have been a positive influence for the Centre Theatre for many years.

The reopening of the Centre is deemed an important part of restoring downtown Montpelier to pre-pandemic conditions. The loss of the theatre would have been considered a huge detriment to the community. For this reason, the Foundation is excited for the present arrangement.

Tony Rudman, president of T T & S Entertainment, offered the following to the community:

“The operation of the theatre in Montpelier is very personal to us. Our mother was born in Paris, Idaho. It was a joyful day when our father was able to purchase the theatre over 40 years ago. Our family has always tried to keep the theatre in good condition and we have always tried to bring the best movies to Montpelier as quickly as possible. Our ticket and concession prices have been some of the lowest in the country. The closing of the theatre due to COVID forced us to consider alternative ways to reopen, and we are overjoyed that in conjunction with the City and the Foundation we were able to find a solution. It is terrific that Montpelier, unlike many smaller communities, will continue to have a local movie theater. There is truly something special about seeing great movies on the big screen. We wish the new owners and operators of the theatre well and thank our loyal customers for the many years of support.”

Foundation president, Steve Allred, was pleased with the result. “On behalf of the Foundation, I would like to thank the Rudman family for their lengthy ownership and operation of the Centre Theatre. Their contribution to Montpelier movie entertainment will not be soon forgotten. We also welcome the Petersen family in providing continued movie operations into the future. Finally, thanks to Emily Keetch who helped us through this transfer process and her commitment to help us well into the future.”

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