Bison 6 Cinema is Business of the YearLyman and Cory Keim and their business, Bison 6 Cinema located in the Buffalo Mall in Jamestown, are being honored as the 2012 Business of the Year by the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce.
By: By Chris Olson, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Lyman and Cory Keim and their business, Bison 6 Cinema located in the Buffalo Mall in Jamestown, are being honored as the 2012 Business of the Year by the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce.
“It was very humbling,” Lyman said about receiving the news of the award from Tim Burchill, the chamber board chair.
“It has been a bit of a surprise for me,” Cory said. Cory is the general manager for Keim Theaters, the company that owns the Bison 6 Cinema. Lyman is the managing director.
The father-son team took a chance in in 2010 when they approached Investors Real Estate Trust, the owners of the Buffalo Mall, about converting five empty stores into a new theater complex. At the time Lyman owned the Bison Twin, which was located in the north end of the mall, and the Cinema Twin, located in downtown Jamestown. Each location had two theaters in them. He had owned both theater businesses since 1986.
Keim and his son worked out an agreement with the mall owners to renovate the five-store space to make room for a six-theater complex.
“They gutted it and rebuilt it to our needs,” Lyman said. “We completed the interior, put in new seats, new screens and equipment, new concessions.”
The Bison 6 Cinema opened on June 17, 2011. The Keims closed both the Bison Twin and Cinema Twin theaters when their new location was opened.
The new theaters vary in size from 80 to 215 seats. All the theaters have stadium seating, providing all movie goers with an unobstructed view.
“Our seats are 22-inches wide, very comfortable,” Lyman said.
All the theaters have the digital projection and digital sound, with two of the screens able to show 3-D movies.
Lyman said he likes the ease of digital technology.
“You download the movie into the computer, push a button, and all the movies start and end on time,” he said “But, I do miss the clatter of the film projectors. That is what I grew up with.”
The Keims’ business was one of five nominated. Anyone may nominate a business for the award, but only chamber members can win Burchill said. The chamber board of directors chooses the winner after reviewing all the nominations.
“Lyman and Cory took a tremendous leap of faith to renovate a big part of the Buffalo Mall and put in a state-of-the-art movie theater,” Burchill said.
To be considered for the award a business must have existed for three years; seen growth in the number of employees and increases in business activity; show innovativeness of its products or services offered; show evidence of contributing to community projects; and have a good history of employee relations.
Burchill said Keim Theaters excelled in all areas of consideration.
Cory said their company always contributed to different community organizations like the United Way, James River YMCA and the Anne Carlsen Center for Children amongst others.
Lyman said their business has increased since new theater complex opened in 2011.
“We are getting people in from 60 miles away,” he said. Lyman said there is a couple he sees about every two weeks who live an equal distance between Jamestown and Bismarck.
“They have a choice of coming here or going to Bismarck to go to the movies,” he said. “They chose us because we have a better price and a new facility.”
Cory and Lyman both said they appreciate the chamber honoring their business; they know they didn’t get to where they are on their own.
“We couldn’t have done this without the help of the mall,” Lyman said. “They saw the potential that we saw in renovating this space.”
The Keims will receive their award at the chamber’s annual awards banquet, which will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the Quality Inn and Suites, 5076 25th St. SW, Jamestown.
Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at email@example.com