By David F. Rooney
The Roxy Theatre, one of Revelstoke’s major cultural institutions, has been sold.
Carl Rankin sold the iconic, 78-year-old theatre on February 27 to Revelstoke locals Tammy and Jaret VanSickle and has been showing them the ropes of theatre management ever since.
“We had been looking at other businesses in the community for a while when my brother, Brad (MacDonald of BDM Consulting), called and told us about this opportunity that had come his way,” she said in an interview on Saturday, April 18.
They met Carl and the deal was struck.
“As a lot of people in town know, I’ve been thinking about it (selling the theatre) for about five years,” Rankin said. “When Linda and I bought the Roxy in 1996 that’s what I did full time.”
He said he built up the business, made it successful and then went on to explore different occupations with Vic Van isle and real estate.
“The next thing you know it’s 2008, 2009, 2010 and there’s only so much time in your day,” Carl said. “So here I am trying to do real estate, have a life and do the theatre and that just got to be too much.”
Between 2010 and today he talked with a number of would-be purchasers, some of them local but including others from as far away as Calgary and Vancouver.
“I was particular,” he said. “I don’t think anybody really understood that, yes, I wanted to sell it but I didn’t keep it for 19 years because I don’t love it. It’s part of the community and I’m not just going to put it on the market and have somebody come in from Vancouver or Calgary who’s going to do something completely different with it. I was waiting for the right people to come along.”
And the right people did come along in the form of Tammy and Jaret.
“We listed it on January 10… and a week later (Brad) called and said we had an offer,” Carl said. “My prayers were answered ’cause they are definitely the right people.”
Tammy said that after Brad told them about the opportunity to purchase the Roxy she and Jaret talked bout it “for hours and hours and hours” then put in an offer the next day. And then it was a done deal.
As part of the deal Carl made a commitment to coach them in the minutiae of owning and operating a movie theatre — everything from running the digital projector and operating the popcorn machine to booking films and managing the kids who work at the theatre.
It has been a great learning experience, Jaret said, adding that he and Tammy have a few ideas for offering different services that could expand the business including birthday party events.
“We’re taking small steps right now,” Tammy said.
A lot of people in town will undoubtedly wish them every success with this venture.
Please click here to visit the Roxy Theatre’s website.