CHETWYND – Chetwynd will once again have a movie theatre.
Brent and Carrie Garry, both lifelong residents of the community, have purchased the former Red Rock Cinema and plan to reopen the landmark later this spring – under the original Chetwynd theatre showhall name, *The Rex.
The Red Rock closed last year following the death of long time theatre owner Glenda Garbanewski. Glenda’s husband Henry approached the Garry’s shortly after and offered them the chance to purchase the historic Chetwynd building.
The Garbanewski’s constructed the building back in the 1977 and ran the theatre for more than 30 years. A second screen was scheduled to be constructed at one time but the plan never flourished – hence the empty lot next door. The theatre was upgraded last spring to the new digital technology and the new projector was set up right next to the original film projector.
The Garry’s have been hard at work since taking over Jan. 2 with a lobby and entrance-way renovation including the concession area and bathrooms. The original video games will be returning as well as the Garbanewski’s famous cheese popcorn – a concession staple for several generations.
The theatre’s 420 seats are also online for an upgrade, but the Garry’s said that will be coming in Phase 2 of the renos. Also coming up will a façade renovation as well.
Taking over the theatre seems to have been written in the stars for the Garry’s.
“We’ve always wanted to own the theatre,” Brent said. “We always used to bug dad (Butch Garry) and tell him you should own the theatre.”
About 13 years ago, shortly after Brent and Carrie got married, Henry approached Brent the first time.
“He’s come to me a few times over the years,” Brent said. “But we were always so busy. Carrie had Subway, we had the Hardware Store. I had Hymark.
And we had furniture store. We always had too many things as it was.”
After Glenda’s passing, Carrie and Brent took Henry up on his offer. It seemed only right they said.
When the doors open again, The Rex will be showing seven days a week, two shows, and Saturday matinees.
“And the shows will be brought in right away we hope,” Brent said. “We’re definitely going to try. A lot of it is going to be trial and error for the first year.”
Growing up in Chetwynd, Brent remembers the first time he went to the theatre.
“Star Wars came here and I remember people sitting in the aisle there was so many people,” he said, adding they used to spend lunch hours at the theatre eating lunch from the concession and playing video games.
Brent says he wants to create memories for the next generation as well.
A Grand Opening celebration won’t be happening until later.
*The Rex was located where Amigo’s Nightclub is now. It was constructed in the early 1960s and was owned by a relative of the Garbanewski’s.