Atascadero’s movie theatre reopens as Colony Cinemas

ATASCADERO — On the afternoon of July 1, around 24 hours after Sanborn Theatres officially took over as operator of Atascadero’s only movie theater, it reopened as Colony Cinemas. 

“We took possession of the keys around 2 [p.m.] on the 30th [of June], and we were open at 4 [p.m.] on the 1st [of July]. So, just over 24 hours is kind of unheard of in this business,” said Colony Cinemas General Manager Jerry Kane.

The theatre’s former operator, Galaxy Theatres played its final movie on Thursday, June 23. Sanborn Theatres, who’ve been operating the Downtown Center Cinemas ins San Luis Obispo for the last 30 years, reopened the theatre in slightly over a week.


“The new owners [Sanborn Theatres] have been in the business; they have the SLO theater,” Kane stated of the short week-long turnover. “They’ve been in the market and this field for over 100 years, so we didn’t have to reestablish connections with the film studios, and marketing, equipment, and all that stuff was kind of somewhat established.” 

Bruce Sanborn of Sanborn Theatres added that the theatre’s quick turnaround could not have happened without the help of Mayor Heather Moreno, other Atascadero city officials, and the Chamber. Sanborn added that he couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of Atascadero’s growing community.

“I’m really happy to be able to do this and want to invest in it [the theater] and invest in the community,” added Sanborn.

While things will initially look a little different for moviegoers’ return to the cinema in Atascadero, many of the familiar faces from Galaxy Theatres are still working at Colony Cinemas.

“I was one of the many that stayed on. I think we retained like 95 percent of our staff,” Kane said. “That’s helping the transition, I think, and it’s making it easier with our guests as well. Because people are coming and still seeing all of our faces, it’s just a nice transition.”

Colony Cinemas is in the process of getting its beer and wine license for the brand new theatre, and it’s working on being able to prepare hot food on-site, but in the meantime, all the favorite staples are available. 

“We have movies; we have popcorn; we have soft drinks; we have candy. So we’re kind of back to the basics,” stated Kane. “The hot food and the beer and wine are all coming. That was something that we were known for, but that’s all in the works.”

The theater is also planning on bringing back favorites like the summer children’s movie series and the Fathom Events the community has come to know and love. In the meantime, Colony Cinemas is back with lower ticket pricing that matches that of the Downtown Centre Cinemas, discounted prices on Tuesdays for all, and the option to rent out an entire auditorium (minimum of 50 people) for an even higher discount.

“People are coming in happy, and they’re there once again to support the theatre,” Kane said. “It’s just a good thing. I mean, the theater is an important thing to the community. We’ve heard that from a lot of people, and we’re just happy to see those folks coming back, and we’re happy to be there for them.”

You can see ticket pricing, check showtimes, and buy tickets at