Local theaters under new ownership

Durango’s two first-run cinemas are under new ownership.

Russell Allen, a vice president of Allen Theatres, confirmed that the Farmington-based company finalized the purchase of the Gaslight Cinema and Durango Stadium 9 on June 8. Both venues were previously owned by Storyteller Theatres. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We’ve been trying to get the Durango theaters for a lot of years, and we’re very happy that it’s finally happened,” Allen said.

Allen Theatres is a family-owned business founded in 1912.

Russell Allen said there will be some significant changes in the coming months. All 11 screens in both locations will be converted to digital projection, replacing film projectors. (Most of the screens at the Durango Stadium 9 have been converted.)

He said ticket pricing will be simplified and food and beverage prices will be reduced by about 30 percent.

“We really believe that popcorn and a Coke are part of the movie experience,” Allen said.

Allen Theatres does not have a relationship with Fathom Events, so simulcasts of the Metropolitan Opera’s The Met: Live in HD series and other special events will no longer be shown.

But Allen said the company does show opera and other special events through a European company.

Allen said the company has no policy restricting what films will be shown and audiences can expect to see a broad range of new releases.

“If people want to see a film and we can get it, we will,” he said.

Moviegoers can find show times for the Gaslight and Durango Stadium 9 at www.allentheatresinc.com.