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Westates Theaters

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This is Fred Ball, for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Last month the seats for Westates Theaters' new eight-plex movie theater at Thanksgiving Point were shipped by mistake to Soldier Field in Chicago. Well, it would have been a lucky break for Bears' fans — comfortable seats with cup-holders. And the foul-up would have given new meaning to the phrase "stadium seating." Fortunately, the seats were returned and the newest Westates Theater complex is open for business.

The original Westates Theater started in 1958 when Tony Rudman opened up a one-screen, outdoor drive-in theater in Layton. His son, TJ, began working for Tony when the boy was only 10 years old. Back then TJ walked from car to car with a flashlight, checking windows for tickets, and then inside trunks for smuggled-in movie viewers. "It didn't do any good," says TJ. "Even when I found them, I was too little to do anything."

Now, 45 years later Tony Sr. still heads the family movie business with his son, TJ, as vice president. The family duo manages 25 different theaters. It's a locally owned, locally run business that stretches throughout Utah and into Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Arizona.

TJ told me that as a family-owned business, he likes to keep a family's budget in mind. Westates has made a conscious decision to keep concession and ticket prices low. An adult ticket costs $6.50. Kids and seniors get in for $4.50. Once inside, parents can purchase a Kid's Special Combo meal for just $3, which includes a drink, popcorn and candy. And for $10, adults can buy the Hulk Combo, a deal that comes with two extra large refillable drinks, a refillable tub of popcorn, and choice of candy.

Like any business, you've got to use the latest in technology to stay ahead. For the Rudmans, that means building their new theaters with special foam block walls for the best possible sound, and stadium seating so there's not a bad seat in the house. You can find Westates Theaters online at to check locations and times, and even buy tickets.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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