A landmark of downtown Stettler, almost an institution, one that has hosted moviegoers for more than three decades is to become part of the history within days.
Jewel Theatre, located at the junction of 50 Ave and 49 St., just across the post office is closing its doors on August 15, as a result of a management decision to end the operation and sell the property.
The theatre, which has been operated for the last forty years by Landmark Cinemas, has already put up signs thanking their customers for their support over the years it has served the community.
Neil Campbell, the chief executive officer of Landmark Cinemas said they were closing down the theatre due to the transformations in the nature of their operations over the last few years.
“We’ve been in Stettler for a long time, and it is simply a matter of the fact that we are now a much, much bigger company than we were when we came to Stettler,” said Campbell in a telephone interview from Los Angeles.
“In the last year, we tripled in size; it is just time that we exit some of those smaller markets.”
But when asked what other markets they were pulling out from, he said Stettler was the only town where they were closing down their operation.
Landmark Cinemas later issued a statement adding that they were also closing down their operation in Grand Prairie, as well.
The statement quoted Campbell as saying that the decisions to close down the theatres were difficult and that they were not taken lightly.
“We can’t afford to operate as before as a larger company, it just doesn’t work,” Campbell continued.
Asked if that meant they didn’t find the operation of the Jewel Theatre in Stettler not profitable any more, Campbell replied ”That would be a very good statement.”
According to the statement of the CEO, the company is putting up the building for sale in its current condition.
“We are putting it up for sale as a theatre, but it can also be sold as real estate,” Campbell said.
“It is probably viable for a smaller operation, so we are going to try that avenue first,” he added. “But it is a very good property in downtown Stettler for other uses as well.”