Casino Star Theatre opening with concert today, showing off ‘Take a Seat’ project

Plush new red vintage-style seats adorn the newly renovated Casino Star Theatre, which is celebrating its grand reopening on Thursday and Friday.


Casino Star Theatre opening with concert today, showing off ‘Take a Seat’ project




GUNNISON—The Casino Star Theatre is celebrating its grand reopening on Thursday and Friday this week by hosting some very special entertainment.

The Casino Star has been closed for five weeks to work on its “Take a Seat” project, which completes the renovation of the historic auditorium with new red seats, carpet and refurbished wood flooring, said Lori Nay, managing director of Casino Star Theatre Foundation.

“After fifteen years of continuous projects to renovate our beautiful historic theater, this is a landmark moment,” she said. “One that deserves a loud and grateful hallelujah. It has been a long journey and we want to celebrate with our many donors, supporters, volunteers and friends and look forward to inviting you back.”

The grand reopening gets rolling on Thursday at 7 p.m. with a concert featuring Mary Kaye and Millie Kaye, the mother/daughter team of authentic, award-winning western singer/songwriters.

A special donor’s appreciation reception will be held at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday for donors and volunteers. There will also be an open house for the general public on Friday at 5:30 p.m. A new film “Abominable” will air Friday evening at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Refreshments will be served at both events.

The Casino Star Theatre was closed for the past five weeks so that the old BYU classroom seats (squeaky, well-worn and bright orange) could be removed, Nay said. The 107 year old wood floor was sanded, refurbished and sealed. The new red vintage-styled seats and new carpet was installed and the bathroom refurbished, she said.

“It took many years of fundraising to raise the $106,000 needed to complete the final phase of our renovation for our historic auditorium,” she said, “and we are thrilled to announce that we are almost to our goal and have only $6,550 more to raise in order to meet all of the costs associated with this project.”

The Casino Star Theatre Foundation wants to thank all of the many individuals (82) who have supported our efforts and bought a seat with their name on it. The Foundation would also like to thank large donors such as the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, George S. and Dolores Dore’ Eccles Foundation, CLG program administered by the State Historic Preservation Office and Rocky Mountain Power Foundation.

Nay mentioned that it is not too late to get your name on a seat and make your mark in history. There is a donation form in the newspaper or you can pick up a brochure at the theater or just call her at 979-9235.

The “Take a Seat” project is the latest in a long list of renovation projects since the historic Star Theater was purchased in September 2004 by the Foundation.

“Now over $1 million later, we know that the Casino Star is an unusual example of what can be accomplished when people love a building and they come together to save it, use it and love it for now and for generations to come,” Nay said. “It is hard to get money for rural arts and even harder to bring an old building back to life in a small town.  We know that without the support of our many friends, partners, donors, volunteers, families, and movie-goers over the past fifteen years, this miracle could not have happened. We are blessed and grateful for all of your support.”

Here are recent donors for the “Take a Seat” project: Roland and Julia Christensen; Jason and Liz Christensen; Troy and Monette Christensen; Dani and Trent Taylor; Connie (Nielson) and Jason Eldredge; Gunnison Family Pharmacy; Phyllis and Dallas Greener; Mary and Nels Hermansen; Kevin K. Nay; Marie H. Nay; The Henline Family (Ron Henline); Rasmussen’s Ace Hardware; Jim Sanders; Suzanne Sanders; Miles Herbert Jensen; Celia Pickett Jensen; Elizabeth Jensen; Sally Neil; John and Laurie Jensen; Seth and Jessica Hendricksen; The Crane Family (Shawn and Jan Crane & Family); Gunnison Valley Hospital; Julia Chappell Sorenson; Jolyn Chappell and Noni Dalton; Robert and Jeannette Andersen.