CHEYENNE – Rob Berger, co-owner of the Capitol City Stadium Cinemas, said there will be another incentive to go back to the movies this holiday season.

In October 2019, Edwards Construction Co. began building Capitol Club 21, the movie theater’s first adult-only section. Construction continued throughout the pandemic, and Berger said the goal is to open the addition before the holidays are in full swing by late November.

“We had an opportunity to add four more screens after our remodel that started in 2016 and finished in 2019 – in a location on the same property,” Berger said. “So we utilized that spot to add four new screens, a concession area and men’s and women’s bathrooms with a lobby.”

While researching what he could do with the additional space, Berger learned that several multiplexes around the country were utilizing their auditoriums in the evening for adult-only film screenings. This allows couples and other adult groups a night at the movies without the interruption of crying babies or fussing kids, and Berger was attracted to that kind of mature offering.

Capitol Club 21 showtimes before 6 p.m. will be available for all ages and show films of all genres, Berger said, but after 6 p.m., the mood will change to a more upscale, 21-and-up experience.

The addition will be located next to the theater in the space that was once occupied by Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s fitness center. It will be connected to the existing theater via a corridor, but will also have its own private entrance.

“It offered us another area to add more movies and keep movies a little longer,” Berger added. “We have 12 screens already and had an opportunity to expand in 2016, and instead what we did was remodel and add more luxury with the chairs and changing one of them into an ARQ theater with a premium sound system. After that, it just took off, so what we’re looking at is we need more seats, and the only way to do that is to add more auditoriums.”

When the theater installed luxury seats a couple years ago, theater capacity went from 1,600 per auditorium to 800, and Berger said they’ve lost even more seats recently due to social distancing. Although public health orders will likely still be in place when Capitol Club 21 opens, Berger said he’s excited to offer more seats in general.

Currently, there is a two-seat gap between parties (which can be no larger than eight people) at the theater, and he said there is talk of considering other measures, such as protective shields between seats. However, he hopes that all becomes irrelevant, and they can return to normal sooner, rather than later.

“That’s not the reason why I bought the seats, to have half of them there and not being used,” he said.

Many have asked him if Capitol Club 21 will serve alcohol, but Berger said it’s too long of a process with the state to finish before opening. However, that’s something they’ll add later.

Most importantly, Berger said, the addition will be offering a new, safe experience for Cheyenne residents.

“When you walk in, it won’t look like a normal theater with posters and stuff; it will have a lot of wow factor,” Berger said. “People pay for this entertainment, so if they’re going to pay for it, we want them to get the best.”

Niki Kottmann is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s features editor. She can be reached at nkottmann@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3135. Follow her on Twitter at @niki_mariee.

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