Varsity Theatre still needs funds

JJ Wilbur stands in the concession stand where he works, picture by Daniela Fierro.

JJ Wilbur stands in the concession stand where he works, picture by Daniela Fierro.

The Varsity Theatre located off of 4th Avenue in Canyon is still working on raising money necessary to revamp the projection and sound system, which will cost almost $100,000. The upgrade will allow the theater to play digital films, which has become the new standard in the movie industry.

“There is some movement to a solution but we don’t know much more than that,” Gary Cathey, owner of the business, said.

With a new Facebook page, Cathey encourages people to like it and leave any suggestions that might help the Varsity.

“There’s some smart people in the college,” Cathey said. “I’m sure one of them will be able to come up with a solution.”

32-year-old J.J. Wilbur says he’s been helping out in the theater since he was 12 years old and would be sad to see it close down.

“I would miss Gary too much,” Wilbur said.

Wilbur says he helps with the popping popcorn, selling things in the concession stand and cleaning.

“Everybody needs to come [to the Varsity Theatre] because it’s a very special place,” Wilbur said.

Owner of the J.J. Resale Store, Teresa Wilbur, also volunteers at the Varsity.
“I do everything in the show,” Teresa said. “I’ve helped out at concession stand, the projection room and box office.”

Teresa said she’s been helping out for four-and-a-half years.

“I think it would be terrible because it’s the only entertainment we have [in Canyon],” said Teresa. “There’s nothing else because everything else is for the tourists.”

Teresa said closing the theater would hurt the economy because of lost revenue.

“It’s a historical place and I would hate to see it go because of that,” she said.