The same group that purchased the Jackson Hole Twin Cinema is also looking to purchase Movieworks.
The Staryks, Joe Rice and Tyler Davis have purchased the Twin Cinema property via a limited liability company, Teton Gables LLC. Noa and Ted Staryk, who own Snake River Brewing, confirmed Thursday that the same group is looking to purchase Movieworks and continue to run the property as a movie theater. But the Twin, as former owner Frank Londy told the News&Guide last week, will not remain a theater, in part because of a restrictive covenant the movie man placed on the property.
If all of the deals go through, Noa Staryk will take charge of the Twin Property, and the three men will run the Movieworks.
Londy built the Jackson Hole Cinema on the Twin Cinema property in 1976 and opened it in 1977, the same year “Star Wars: A New Hope” hit theaters. He later twinned the screen. And, in 1991, he built the Movieworks fourplex farther south on Broadway.
Londy still owns the Movieworks per public records but told the News&Guide last week that he is looking to sell that business as well.
The movie mogul also said that Noa Staryk, married to Ted Staryk, had purchased the Twin. Noa Staryk had deferred an interview until later in the week.
In that interview Thursday, she said she was interested in the Twin property because of its history.
“It is a building that has heart and soul,” Staryk said. “It just has so many stories, and so many people have so many stories of their own.”
She said the rest of the crew got involved because, as she was talking to Londy, he was interested in understanding “the collective fate of both theaters.”
As her conversations with Londy progressed, Noa Staryk said her husband Ted became interested and she didn’t want to manage both properties.
On Thursday, Ted Staryk confirmed — while saying he hoped he wasn’t “jinxing” anything — that the goal is to have the same group own both properties.
The Twin will not remain a theater, in part because of the covenant. That document, which is public record, prohibits its use as a movie theater for the next five years — or until the Teton Gables LLC no longer “owns or controls the property.”
Londy was not reachable for comment by press time Tuesday.
If the group is able to purchase Movieworks, Ted Staryk said they plan to continue operating a movie theater, possibly with its offerings reimagined.
“We’re trying to figure out, with Frank’s blessing, how people are going to engage with movie theaters going forward,” he said. “It’s going to be different, I think, than it [was] pre-pandemic.”
Staryk said what, exactly, that will look like remains to be seen. And, again, it depends on the deal with Londy closing.
But he pointed to Wall Street Journal coverage of the industry, which, among other things, has shown how bands are recording concerts for distribution in movie theaters as an intermediate step before audiences return to crowded concert venues in person.
That’s a part of the equation: Theaters are being reimagined for new uses and experiences, alongside traditional screenings.
Another is the rise of streaming, which was accelerated during the pandemic as some studios sent films straight to home televisions, rather than debuting them first in theaters, as they have for decades.
Staryk said he and his partners were considering balancing traditional theater operations with possible concerts, as well as selling beer, food and holding event-driven screenings like those of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” He said the conversation has already begun, and will likely involve consultants, but the thrust is answering a question like “How do you create flex space in a movie theater?”
The theater won’t close while that’s figured out, Staryk said.
“How to do that? I have no idea, but we’ll learn,” he said of figuring out its future. “And in the meantime, while we’re learning, it’s a movie theater.”
The Staryks said they do not have immediate plans for the Twin, but Noa Staryk did throw out two loose ideas for its future: housing Nest At Home, the home staging, furnishing and interior firm she operates with a partner, or a possible office space.
But plans are not finalized and Noa Staryk said that, whatever happens with the Twin, they plan to honor Londy’s legacy.
The Staryks said they plan to keep the marquee and poster boxes outside, and Londy has left them the popcorn maker, though Staryk said she still needs the recipe.
The goal, Staryk said, was to let people know that “there was an amazing business, a gathering place that lived there for a long time.”
Noa Staryk said she understands people skeptical of change and who lament the loss of the Twin as a theater and community gathering space.
“I get it, I feel the same way,” she said. “And so the only the assurance I would give, for whatever it would be worth, is that we will work hard to be thoughtful and mindful and community oriented.”