B&G Club of Mason Valley to enter show business

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Kids in Mason Valley will get a chance to try their luck in the movie business - by running a theater.

The Masini family, owners of Casino West in Yerington, has donated use of the casino's theater to the Boys & Girls Club of Mason Valley, which club chief professional officer Travis Crowder said will help fund activities and teach the kids important lessons in business and entrepreneurship.

"We have all kinds of ideas," Crowder said. "But the first thing is to get it up and functioning."

The movie house has been dormant for several months as the casino owners focused on their other business ventures, he said.

Crowder said the projection runs fine and the club staff, students and volunteers just need to do a little "sprucing up" of the theater.

The Boys & Girls Club will have a rent-free lease, and the Masinis will continue to pay for the theater's utilities, leaving the club to pay only taxes and wages out of the theater's profits.

"It's a beautiful theater," Crowder said. "It seats about 140 or so people and it's the only one around for miles."

He said the club will employ young people in the theater and teach teens the business end of it.

"He has been more than gracious to us," Crowder said of Bryan Masini of Casino West. "This couldn't have come at a better time. Any Boys & Girls Club is looking for the next opportunity (for fundraising)."

Last weekend kicked off the Boys & Girls Club of Mason Valley's "It Just Takes One" official donation drive. The club's goal is $190,000 and Crowder said the community usually raises even more than that.

He said the club only does one donation drive, as well as the summer's "Night in the Country" fundraiser, and the theater will give them a new source of revenue.

He hopes to have the theater operational in about a month.

"My board of directors - who have done a lot of homework - will crunch numbers and do a budget and see what it takes to get it up and running," he said. "It's mostly personnel costs."

Crowder said he hopes to have senior nights and family nights with special discounts.

He also plans to keep it clean in terms of movie content - limiting to G, PG and PG-13 movies.

"Being that it's the Boys & Girls Club, it's not the intent to get R-rated movies," he said. "What's a good draw are the family movies, action movies and comedy movies."

He said when the theater was operational in the past, movies showed Friday through Sunday with limited advertising.

"We would like to maximize it," he said. "We would like to take it one step further and have Wednesday night or senior night movies and see what kind of interest is there."

The Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley provides numerous activities in Mason Valley, Smith Valley and Schurz, including tutoring and homework help, providing meals and snacks, athletics, fitness programs, a computer lab, teen center, gym, preschool, and arts and crafts center.

"We have a whole range of professional staff," Crowder said. "We serve from age 6-18 at a cost of $10 per year."

The club also owns and operates a thrift store in Yerington called the Attic, where 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the club.

• Contact Karen Woodmansee by e-mail at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-7351.

You Can Help

To donate to the Boys & Girls Club of Mason Valley, call 463-2334.


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