Main Street Pinedale launches Skyline Movie Theater project in Pinedale
October 17, 2018
Main Street Pinedale is pursuing the purchase, renovation, and operation of the historic Skyline Theater at 14 N Franklin Avenue in Pinedale (currently Walt's Plumbing). Main Street Pinedale would like to revive the Skyline Theater into a multi-entertainment theater showing second run films, film festivals, documentaries and independent films, outdoor adventure films, live music, speakers, performing arts and more. The Skyline movie theater operated from 1940 into the 1980’s, when it closed. Walt’s Plumbing operated out of the building ever since. The building is a candidate to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is centrally located in the historic and Main Street districts of downtown Pinedale close to restaurants, shopping, and hotel accommodations.
Organizers are hoping for two things to start moving the project forward. They are looking for more interested community members with skills to serve on their theater committee to help with fundraising, grant writing, event planning, public relations, developing programming, and project management/construction for this multi-year project. And secondly, they are looking for funding to raise the $170,000 to purchase the property. Main Street Pinedale already has an Intent to Purchase contract, a draft business plan, preliminary budget, and initial fundraising video and donation form ready to go. They need to have the $170,000 to purchase the property by June 28, 2019.
Once the property is purchased, they expect it will take $1.1 million more to renovate the property so it can open.
Anyone who would like to be an early adopter of the project and donate now can make checks payable to SKYLINE THEATER and mail to:
MAIN STREET PINEDALE
P.O. BOX 2529
Pinedale, WY 82941
Except from Pinedale’s Historic Walking Tour Brochure from research by local historian Ann Noble:
14 North Franklin Street, originally the Patterson home, was replaced with the Skyline Theatre, which had its grand opening in September 1940. The Pinedale Roundup reported on the theater opening, "The beautiful interior is indirectly lighted from each side of the upper portion of each wall. Silhouettes depicting mountain scenery, winter sports, hunting and fishing, and other recreational facilities adjacent to Pinedale, lend local color to the interior decorations. A raised floor and comfortable furniture makes theatre going a pleasure. Acoustics are excellent, as the building was designed for sound equipment. Nothing was overlooked in designing the building, including a small lobby, a small room for caring for noisy babies." The new movie house was a great improvement from the wooden benches and folding chairs at the Wilson Hall, on east Pine Street, where movies had been shown throughout the 1930s. After two decades of being a favorite gathering place for the town’s people, the theatre closed and the building was purchased by Walt’s Plumbing and Heating, which opened in 1986. Walt’s operated out of the building until 2017.
Main Street Pinedale has spent the last year, researching the building history, developing a business plan, initial programming, and reviewing the building condition and putting together preliminary renovation and operation costs. They have been fortunate to have received support from the Wyoming Community Foundation, the Wyoming Arts Council, Wyoming Main Street, Jorgensen Associates, and the property owners Joe and Annie Sondgeroth who have been gracious and patient throughout.
The Next Step: Purchase of the property!
Main Street Pinedale needs to raise $170,000 in order to purchase the property, and begin writing grants to fund the renovation. Funds will go towards the purchase of the property, but will also be used as matching funds to apply for larger grants to fund Phase 2, the renovation.
Main Street would like to revive the Historic Skyline theater into a multi-purpose theater showing second run films, film festivals, documentaries and independent films, live music, speakers, and performing arts. In addition the facility would be available to rent out. Opening it up to different styles of entertainment will allow Main Street Pinedale to partner with many of the numerous non-profit organizations within Sublette County which will allow them to reach different target markets within the area, and provide a variety of programming.
Some of the ideas for programming include:
Outdoor Adventure Film Series (hunting, flyfishing, skiing, snowmobiling, dirtbiking, climbing, etc.)
High Brow Film Series (films with a professor to speak about the genre, background, cinematography, interpretation of the film etc.)
Curated second run film series (Mountain Man Movies, Spaghetti Westerns, Filmed in Wyoming-including those filmed in Sublette County, like the Legend of Earl Durand, and Sweet Creek County War, Minions etc.)
Holiday Films (12 days of Christmas, Halloween, etc)
Children’s Films on in-service days
Launching a local film festival
Speakers on History
Live Music, small performances (small stage), live streaming, and group gaming.
The Mission of the Skyline Theater is to utilize a historic space as a tool to integrate Pinedale’s distinct culture, history, and artistic identity to entertain, educate and enlighten community members.
#1 Historic restoration of a historic building in Pinedale’s Historic District
#2 Act as a catalyst for downtown revitalization
-Boost Pinedale’s NIGHTLIFE, act as a complimentary attraction to drive foot traffic to the restaurant, retail, bar sectors downtown
-Boost Pinedale’s OFF-SEASON Provide an entertainment option during the off-season months to drive foot traffic to the restaurant, retail, bar sectors downtown
#3 Further support and reinforce Pinedale’s identity, by incorporating films, music, and performances that support our history, culture, and artistry to educate, entertain, and enlighten us
#4 Provide community connection, by creating opportunities for the community to come together, by providing an event space, and partnering with other organizations with mutual interests
PHASE 1: Property Investigation and Purchase. Fundraising Goal $170,000
This phase started in 2017, with an investigation of the condition of the property and building, historic research, preliminary estimates for restoration/renovation, a business plan, and a fundraising for the purchase. Organizers received funding from Wyoming Main Street, Wyoming Community Foundation, and Wyoming Arts Council to put together these documents. This phase will culminate in the purchase of the property by June 28, 2019, when the Intent to Purchase contract expires with the property owner. $160,000 will go towards the purchase of the property, and $10,000 towards grant writing for the renovation/restoration. The deadline for this phase is June 28, 2019. Organizers must have the full amount raised to purchase the property before the Intent to Purchase contract expires. Funds raised in this phase will be used as grant matches for Phase 2.
PHASE 2: Renovation. Estimated funding needed $1.1 Million
Renovation needed consists of the actual building rehabilitation and restoration, which includes architectural design, construction, and purchasing theater specific equipment. Organizers have to piece together many smaller sources of funding. The length of this phase will be highly dependent on receiving adequate funding, timing of grants, and issues encountered with the building and weather. Depending on these variables it could take multiple years to complete.
PHASE 3: Open and operational! Estimated funding needed TBD
For more details, contact Kate Dahl at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 307-202-8880, or go online to https://mainstreetpinedale.com/theater/.