|DATE 11/16/2005 8:31 AM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.
Star Theater Expands into Family Entertainment Center,
|When you meet the security officer for the Star Theater and Fun Center in Huntington, you quickly realize that you are entering a most unusual operation.
The security guard, Zachary Taylor, is nine years old.
“Zachary is very diligent in helping us keep bicycles parked nearby and working hard to keep things clean and orderly,” laughs Janice Mounteer, who owns the business along with her husband, Percy.
The Star Theater and Fun Center in Huntington is quickly becoming a unique entertainment and educational center for young people and adults in Emery County and adjacent Carbon County. Theater owners Percy and Janice Mounteer are well along in a process of turning an old bank building, a former post office and a cluster of abandoned store fronts into a lively activity center that stands as a model for smaller communities in Utah and throughout the country.
“When we purchased the Star Theater three years ago, we dreamed of creating a center offering a wide variety of activities in addition to conventional movie-going,” Janice Mounteer says. “We started with the cinema and concession stand, and we have now expanded with a fun center for families, including a grill.” She added that to their surprise, the grill is also appealing to coal truck drivers from the mine. “They go by our place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They use their CB radios to place pick-up orders.”
The theatre is also available to businesses as a corporate meeting place and training center. Additionally, a learning center equipped with 20 computers will soon be available to young people and adults. “We plan to provide small snacks for kids and encourage them to stop by to study before getting together with their friends,” Janice Mounteer says.
“We are using the services of Collette Clements, a terrific elementary school teacher in this area, for our after school program. We also plan to have the computers available for adults who want to develop their computer skills.”
As well, the “Little Theater” will be opening Nov. 19 that has an LCD projector. The center will then offer big screen sports on Monday nights, bingo on Wednesday and karioke on Friday evenings. On Saturdays, there will be free movies.
The center will soon also have a dance hall available for youth and young adults.
The Fun Center building was constructed in 1907 and originally housed the Castle Valley Bank, a toy store, and a general merchandise store. The walls were made on site, using mud and rock brick that was formed and fired by hand. Percy Mounteer currently uses the former bank vault as his office.
The Mounteers are upgrading their facilities and services through a unique loan arranged with the help of Gordon Holt, president of the Utah Business Lending Corporation. Holt’s organization acts as a lending intermediary for the Rural Development office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They provide loans for business acquisitions and construction or modernization and for the purchase of equipment and supplies. They also provide working capital for entrepreneurs.
“Our organization is uniquely positioned to strengthen the business environment in small communities throughout the state. We are also working with the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance and Utah State Extension Services to identify businesses in rural Utah that might benefit from our programs,” Holt says.
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