Although Jacki and Casey Winters have never run a theater before, they have big plans for the Chehalis Theatre downtown.
“We signed a lease for two years, so we’ve got to make something happen,” Jacki Winters said. “We’ll make it happen. I feel like there is no reason why it can’t succeed, as long as the effort is put in.”
Although the Winters only took over the Chehalis Theatre at the beginning of December, the two have already begun showing movies. Last weekend the theater ran the Christmas movie “Elf” and will show “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” on Saturday. In January, Jacki Winters wants to have a throwback to the 1990s.
“I haven’t decided on titles yet,” she said. “I was thinking just 1999, but I think we are going to expand it to the whole decade. … There are so many good movies in the ‘90s and it’s a historic theater, so why not throwback a little bit?”
Jacki Winters said the two had discussed opening a country western saloon, or potentially a pizza place. At the Chehalis Theatre, the two plan to serve pizza and fulfill part of that dream.
“We like pizza,” Jacki Winters said. “I mean, who doesn’t? But I feel like we’re lacking quality, affordable pizza in the area. All of the pizza that is affordable is Papa Murphy’s, Little Caesars, Domino’s — they’re all chains. Then places like Papa Pete’s will really kind of burn a hole in your wallet.”
The Winters hope to have the kitchen up and running by the beginning of February, as well as their liquor license to open the upstairs bar.
“Our plan is to do a pan-style pizza — not super thick crust, tons of cheese, nice golden-crunchy cheese around the edges,” Jacki Winters said. “Just really good pizza.”
Casey Winters said there are eight different types of pizzas the two are considering for the menu.
“We’ll make it all ourselves,” Casey Winters said. “My mom has run kitchens her whole career, anywhere from school kitchens to casino kitchens. She is moving down from Port Angeles to run the kitchen, so that’s kind of gonna be her niche.”
The Winterses are still setting the schedule for entertainment and movies in the upcoming year, but Jacki Winters named numerous types of entertainment she was open to booking, such as comedians, musicians and magicians. She also discussed a potential family karaoke night or an open mic.
“I want it to be a piece of the community where people are always wondering what’s happening, what they can do on the weekends,” Jacki Winters said. “... We want it to be family-oriented as well as having an adult nightlife setting sometimes. It just depends on the day and the event. We’ve even talked about doing a family Wii night on the big screen.”
The theater will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but the two are also open to booking events during the week. In particular, Jacki Winters mentioned that school groups could use the Chehalis Theatre to put on plays or watch movies for class.
“The possibilities here are endless,” she said.
The Chehalis Theatre
Owners: Jacki and
Location: 558 N Market Blvd. in Chehalis