GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Friday the 13th does not scare Glenwood Springs Mall general manager Sonia Davis.
Davis has been looking forward to this Friday night for about a year and a half.
"Friday is going to be a lot of fun," Davis said Wednesday.
The popcorn will be popped and buttered. Soda and candy will be purchased. Tickets will be taken and at 7 p.m. the curtains will rise again for the first movies to light up the big screen at the Glenwood Springs Mall since the Mall 3 Theater closed in May 2008.
The new theater, called "Movies in the Mall", will be owned and operated by the owners of the Glenwood Mall. Davis said that the idea to reopen the theater themselves had been "kicked around" since the closure of the Carmike Cinemas' theater last year. But, it wasn't until as recent as August that the owners decided to go ahead with the plan.
"We decided that it was best to open it ourselves," Davis said. "Once we made the decision, we wanted to open it in time for Thanksgiving weekend, and we were fortunate to be able to open a couple of weeks early."
They hired a movie broker who will be in charge of movie selections, and the theater currently has eight employees who are working to ensure that opening night runs as smoothly as possible.
In the two months, since they decided to take on the new venture, the entire movie theater has been remodeled Davis said.
"It was a quick schedule to pull it together," Davis said.
New seats and an entirely new projection and sound system has been installed. Even the flooring and ceiling tiles have been replaced, Davis said.
"It's a totally different look," she said. "It looks great and everyone will love it."
Davis said that she received "a ton of interest" from people interested in working at the theater.
"We were flooded with applications," she said. "It seems like working at the movie theater is every kid's dream job."
The closing of the theater in 2008 was a blow to the mall in which the theater had been operating for close to 30 years. And ever since the final curtain, Davis said that people have always wanted the theater to reopen. That was one of the reasons they decided to take it on themselves.
"You have to listen to what people want," Davis said. "And not having the theater, we saw a drop in traffic last year in the mall. Not a huge amount, but it was a little off."
She said that this weekend's opening will be a very fun night with some door prizes being given away. But, she said that the real big opening weekend will be Thanksgiving.
"We are still working out some things for Thanksgiving weekend," she said. "That will be the big kickoff."
The re-opening of the mall theater will be a welcomed addition for Glenwood residents who have had the Springs Theatre as their only option.
Developers for the Glenwood Meadows Shopping Center originally planned to include a movie theater complex where the two new Marriott Hotels are currently under construction. However, according to Community Development Director Andrew McGregor, those plans are no longer on the table.
"I haven't heard that conversation for a number of years," McGregor said.
All the more reason for the mall to take advantage of the theater space available.
And, "we are jumping in with both feet," Davis said.