Camelot Theater Rises from the Ashes

Like the mythical Phoenix bird, the Camelot Theater has once again risen from its ashes to reopen this weekend with the national release of “Wallace and Grommett” a full length cartoon feature. The features will run, Friday through Monday.

The Camelot has been purchased by sisters Terra Scott, of Springfield , Colo. , and her sister Breanne Schwiegerath, of Denver.

“We've [Terra and husband Jason] taken to running a theater,” Terra said.

“It fell in our laps really.” “My sister, (Breanna), dreamed a year ago, that she and her husband would buy a theater. They looked all over Denver and couldn't find anything. Then the Capital came up for sale and Jason wanted to put his body shop in it and we asked Breanne and Troy to invest. They came back and said, we'll buy it, but we want to run it as a theater.”

The Schwiegerath and Scott's traveled back and forth from Springfield to Wheelees visiting friends Pam and Billy Sheldon, and kept looking at the abandoned Camelot; finally, they stopped, put their faces to the glass, and saw possibilities. Within seven months they owned two theaters, 45 separated by a time zone, state line and 45 miles.

According to “The Tracks We Followed” a historical memory of Cimarron County , the theater was opened as the “Palace” in March of 1930, by Fred Phillips.

“We kept driving through, looking at this thing. It's been a lot of work cleaning it up,” Jason said. “The kid that was here had trashed it; we had to redo all the plumbing.”

Troy Schwiegerath, a Denver fireman, explained that the projector, though bought in the 1970s was still state-of-the-art, though an upgrade was needed and done on the sound.

The projector runs one reel, and changing of reels is unnecessary. The bulb, which supplies the light for the projector costs $650 to replace.

“But if you treat it right, it'll last for along time,” Troy said.

“It was a high-dollar projector in the 1970s, and we sank another two grand into the sound,” Troy explained. “The stage is magnificent,” he added.

Jason and or Terra will be on site most of the time, and Troy and Breanne will check on the investment as much as possible.

Terra, is the group's booker, and hopes to quickly have first run movies in the theater.

They plan to hire local help, and have two employees at their Springfield Theater.

What's sad is that a place like this was vacant for so many years,” Troy said.

Terra, speaking for her husband, sister, brother-in-law, and the theater, said, “ we would like to issue a special thank you to Wayne and Rita Montgomery, Delane and Alta Schwindt along with the local businesses for all their help in getting the theater up and running. We would also like to thank everyone for welcoming us to their community.”

Boise City News
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