Feb 4, 2011 9:45 PM by Ariel Wesler

Local leaders tour Galaxy Theatre in Atascadero

What developers are calling one of the most state of the art theaters on the Central Coast is just a couple months away from its grand opening. The Galaxy Theatre will open in downtown Atascadero's Colony Square in March.

Construction has been underway for about two years and is expected to bring around 80 jobs to the area. Today, the theatres' CEO gave local leaders a sneak peak at the project.

From the moment you walk inside, you can't help but look up. Galaxy Theatres CEO Frank Rimkus led local leaders on a tour through what he says will be an entirely different experience.

"There's not another theater of this quality this class and this capability within 100 miles in any direction you wish to go," Rimkus said.

Each theatre will have all-stadium seating, digital projection, and digital sound. Some stretch about 25 feet high and 45 feet wide. Perhaps the most notable difference is the special V.I.P. lounge for those 21 and over. The theatre will serve beer and wine, while highlighting local vineyards and wineries. The concession stand will serve Coca-Cola products.

Not only are movie fans excited about this new theatre, so are look businesses hit hard by the economy and looking for a boost.

If moviegoers are too tipsy to drive home, that could help Indira Batel's business next door.

"If people come from out of the town and decide they want to stay, we're hoping that we might get a few customers from there," said Batel, who owns the Rancho Tee Motel.

Now, she just hopes the theatre spreads a little movie magic on the rest of the town.

"At least we have something nice coming to Atascadero, since Atascadero is like a dead city," Batel said. "It should be more lively."

The project was partially funded through a $1.5 million loan from the city's the Redevelopment Agency. That's an agency Governor Brown is looking to cut.

You can get your own sneak peak on March 5 by getting tickets for the San Luis Obispo International Film festival. The theatre will officially open to the public on March 18.


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