The Isis is reopening … maybe
ASPEN After six weeks without a moviehouse, Aspen film fans can head back to the Isis at 6:15 p.m. Friday – maybe.Metropolitan/Rocky Mountain Cinemas LLC intends to reopen the cinema operation, if renovation work is finished.The building was a beehive of last-minute construction activity Thursday afternoon, but James Pope, director of operations for the cinema business, said if the project passes final inspections and earns a certificate of occupancy Friday, the theater will open as planned. “We can’t guarantee it,” Pope said. “But a lot of people are doing a lot of work to get it open.”
If crews don’t make the deadline, the opening will be delayed a week, Pope said. But he was hopeful.The Isis has been closed for renovation to eliminate one of the ground-floor theaters and convert it to retail space. The lobby has also been reconfigured. During the closure, Aspen Film Society showings at the Wheeler Opera House and occasional movies at Belly Up Aspen have been the only screenings available in town.Contractors, including general contractor John Olson Builder and many cinema-specialty subcontractors, were careful to maintain the Egyptian-themed character of the building, Pope said. “People love the theater. We don’t want to change it,” Pope said.Crews carefully removed and replaced the theater’s signature snake heads and decorative ceiling tiles in the lobby, Pope said.
Two downstairs theaters gained 10 seats each, and both upstairs and downstairs concession stands are brand-new.The lobby is smaller, but the concrete stairs were reconfigured, adding more lobby space. There won’t be an outdoor ticket window, Pope said.The adjoining retail space is still under construction.After passing preliminary inspections, and with work crews busy with final details, Pope was confident about opening Friday and said he is eager to have the theater up and running in time for summer blockbusters.
“It pulls together really fast,” he said of the final details. But stressed the word “tentative” for the hoped-for reopening.Starting Friday, the Isis scheduled “Shrek the Third” for 6:30 and 8:40 p.m. showings. “The Hoax” begins at 7:15 and 9:35. “Spider-Man 3” starts at 6:45 and 9:30, and “Fracture” plays at 7 and 9:15.After Friday’s “soft opening,” Pope said that, pending no major snags in the first week, there will be a grand opening Friday, May 25, for the premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”For more information, call the Isis at 925-7591.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is email@example.com.
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Photographer Dede Reed discusses her solo exhibition “Reflections” at The Art Base in Basalt.