For years, people have traveled to the metropolitan areas to enjoy the big city movie theater experience. Grand lobbies with chandeliers, stadium seating, and a viewing experience that heightens the senses are all part of the allure. Soon, that sort of grandeur will no longer require a road trip. Golden Belt Entertainment Group has announced plans to build a state-of-the-art six-screen movie theater complex in downtown Great Bend.
“It’s been over a year since we completed phase one of our theater project. Renovating the existing Village Cinemas location and investing in digital technology was an important first step,” said Golden Belt Entertainment’s co-owner, Chad Somers. “Now we’re excited to launch phase two by starting construction on the new complex in downtown.”
The six-screen movie theater complex will be located at the southeast corner of Lakin & Kansas, the current site for Bank of the West. By mid-summer, the bank will be moved to their new location at the far south edge of the property, and demolition will begin on their old building. “We are hoping that the new complex will be open to the public by late spring or early summer of 2013,” Somers said. “There will be a brief transition period involving movement of equipment and supplies over from the Village Cinemas location, and we anticipate the transition will be a smooth one.”
Erecting a new theater complex is no small feat. The total investment required for this project is approximately 2.9 million dollars. “This is more than just a business investment,” Somers said. “Critical to the long term economic success of the city of Great Bend and the surrounding communities is retaining our youth and young professionals, and attracting new families to the area. Having a state-of-the-art movie theater will certainly play a role in achieving this goal.”
The downtown theater complex will be called Golden Belt Cinemas 6, and will feature several new amenities. A regal lobby with 26’ high ceilings will welcome viewers to the expansive concessions counter, where there will be four registers instead of two. In addition to the six separate theaters with stadium seating, there will be a community room available to be rented for events, parties, and meetings.
"This project has been in the works for a long time, and we’re pleased that local business people continue to make significant investments in our community,” said Chamber President/CEO Jan Peters. “The new theater will be a great addition to the quality of life in Great Bend.”