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Heber’s Avon, Ideal movie theaters up for sale

Avon Theater Theatre.JPG
Ben Lasseter
/
KPCW
Avon Theatre is located at 94 South Main Street, two blocks south of Ideal Theatre.

Two locally-owned movie theaters on Heber City Main Street are on the market, and the seller hopes to find a buyer who will keep the movies playing there.

Avon and Ideal are two theaters known for showing many family movies, as well as a range of genres and ratings. Located just a block apart from each other in downtown Heber, their vintage blue signs stand out among the shops and restaurants nearby.

The owners say they’re selling so they can retire.

The buildings date back 75 years. Most recently, Jim Lane bought and renovated the Avon and Ideal in 2005. Before, Reel Theatres owned and operated them and sold to a couple who owned them briefly before selling to Lane.

“I mean, we've been running them for roughly 20 years now,” Lane says. “I'm getting up there – my wife is a few years behind me – but we would just like to relax a little bit and enjoy the last 20 or 30 years we have left.”

He says they put the buildings up for sale after negotiations with one potential local buyer backed out. After two years of negotiations, he says that buyer changed his mind because of new city zoning rules.

Lane says now, he would prefer to sell to someone who wants to keep the cinema experience alive on Heber Main Street, but he’s not holding out because it’s time for him to move on.

He also says as the movie and entertainment industry evolve, theaters like his have to compete with streaming platforms and need community support.

“A problem, I think nowadays, is that the major studios, they all own streaming services,” Lane says. “So, they're being very picky about what they put on the big screens, even though they make the majority of their money from theaters. But theaters need products year round in order to pay the bills. I mean, it isn't like we can just close our doors and forget about everything.”

Right now, the theaters offer showtimes Friday through Monday. They’re currently showing “The Invitation” and “Beast,” and will next show “The Woman King” and “Easter Sunday.”

In October, Lane says several new movies are coming out for the holiday season, and he expects to show movies in at least one theater seven days a week.

Visit hebercitytheatre.com for more.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.