|The new grill offers a variety of menu items including drinks, ice cream, breakfast and senior citizen specials. The Fun Center and grill can also host birthday parties.|
Huntington theater expands into unique entertainment center for entire families
When you meet 9 year old Zachary Taylor serving as security officer for the Huntington Star Theater and Fun Center, you quickly realize you are entering a most unusual operation. "Zachary is very diligent in helping us keep bicycles parked neatly 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 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 are well along in a process of turning an old bank building, a former post office, and 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" notes Janice. "We started with the cinema and concession stand, and we have now expanded with a fun center for families, including a grill. To our surprise, our grill is appealing to coal truck drivers from the mines who go by our place 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They use their CB radios to place place orders.
Our theater is 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. 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 computer skills."
|The Fun Center boasts pool tables and a variety of video games.|
"Our little theater opened Nov. 19, and has an LCD projector," Janice adds. "We will offer big screen sports on Monday nights, bingo on Wednesdays, and karaoke on Friday evenings. All day on Saturdays, we will have free movies as well. After we complete a few small repairs, we will have a dance hall available for the youth and adults."
The Fun Center building, constructed in 1907, 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.
"We are upgrading our facilities and services through a unique loan arranged with the help of Gordon Holt, President of the Utah Business Lending Corporation," notes Janice. Holt's organization acts as a lending intermediary for the Rural Development Office of the United States Department of Agriculture. They provide loans for business acquisition and construction of 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 enviroment in small communities through the state. We are also working with the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance and Utah State Extension Service to identify businesses in rural Utah that might benefit from our programs," adds Holt.