Last picture show: Craig’s West Theater to shut down for renovations under new owners
Over many decades, the West Theater has been an iconic part of downtown social life in Craig.
But on Thursday, Aug. 29, the city’s staple of motion picture magic will show its last movie before closing temporarily.
On Tuesday, the theater’s long-time manager, Debbie Winder, said the theater has sold to new owners.
Debbie said the new owners, from Craig, have requested anonymity until the contract they signed Sunday goes through and they officially close on the theater.
“We’re just making sure the deal goes through,” she said.
Winder confirmed Aug. 29 will be the theater’s last showing for awhile before the owners plan to reopen the theater after a renovation.
“They’re excited,” Debbie said of the new owners. “They’re going to do a few upgrades, and then they’ll reopen. Thursday night is the last night that we’ll be open until it opens under new ownership.”
There’s no word on how long the renovations will take and when Craig’s theater might reopen.
“Probably not too long in the future,” Debbie said.
Cammy Winder wasn’t born into the theater like her kids basically were.
“My kids have been there their whole lives,” Cammy said.
But she has spent the last 16 years working at the local bijou.
“I used to go there as a kid and I always knew Robin and Debbie at the theater,” Cammy said. “I ended up marrying Debbie’s son.”
Many of the staff will still be working at the theater after the owners asked their most dedicated employees stay.
“Debbie was always very committed to the theater,” Cammy said. “She left our wedding to go open the theater.”
Cammy wants the Craig and Moffat County communities to know their theater is in good hands.
“I just feel like the new owners are going to be amazing,” Cammy said. “We could not have gotten better owners. We thought about buying it, but I’m super excited about them. They are in it for the community. They’re not in it for anything else.”
But it will be up to the community to make sure the newly remodeled theater doesn’t just survive, but thrives.
“If people don’t go there and use it, the people are going to lose it,” Cammy said. “…Folks who go to Steamboat and spend their money there are helping their theater stay open, not ours.”
Debbie said it’s that very community support that’s helped keep the theater open all these decades, so tickets on their last night Thursday will be $6 per person.
“We hope to have their continued support,” Debbie said. “I love our community and the support they’ve given us over the years.”