CALDWELL - After decades of hard work downtown Caldwell is starting to come back to life.
The mayor and other city officials have made it their mission to bring new businesses to the area to bring people downtown, and now those businesses are starting to open. On Friday night, people came downtown to celebrate the grand opening of the new movie theater, the Luxe Reel Theatre, on the corner of Main and Arthur streets.
“It's like going back to my childhood,” said Mayor Garret Nancolas. “There's so much excitement downtown. I mean look at all of these people around here.”
It's owned by the same people who own the Reel Theatres that are throughout the Treasure Valley. But this new one is a little different.
“We'll play first-run movies,” said company Vice President Eric Denning. “That's a big difference for one thing from what a lot of the Treasure Valley knows reel theater for. That's part of what we wanted to do in creating the luxe brand.”
It's an 11-screen theater with immersive sound systems and new digital laser projection systems.
“They give a really nice, even, clean picture that's very bright, and you'll really notice just how crisp and great it looks,” Denning said.
The theaters range in size. The smallest rooms are about 30 seats and the largest that has more than 200. And the seats fit the luxury brand with either rocking and reclining options.
“Everybody honestly loves going to a movie,” Denning said.
The broad spectrum of people movies appeal to is a reason Nancolas sees the theater as a catalyst for downtown.
“It's about creating a desire to come downtown and then to keep people here,” he said. “What you want people to do is come downtown and do a little shopping, then eat something, and come see a movie and walk along the creek.”
“This gives us a reason to come here,” said Dan Richardson, who saw movie at the new theater. “I think it's a good decision.”
“We used to have a single-screen theater downtown,” Nancolas said. “But to have something of this magnitude downtown shows the heart and soul of this community.”
The owners of the new theater are excited to play a role in revitalizing downtown.
“To attract people in and to have a great awesome movie-going experience here. That's really the vision,” Denning said. “Just to see the smiling faces when they leave and have everybody just really proud to have this movie theater in Caldwell.”
“This community is so excited about having downtown come back to life and be the center of activity, be the heartbeat of our community,” Nancolas said. “This is the reason we're here tonight.”