CAT relocation frees up space at Black Knight

The Black Knight Inn could soon become a venue for major conferences and other large gatherings.

The Black Knight Inn could soon become a venue for major conferences and other large gatherings.

Hotel owner Ken Mandrusiak said Central Alberta Theatre’s decision to relocate its dinner theatre from the Black Knight Inn to the former Uptown Cinema building opens the door for changes to his property.

“We desperately do need some more space here for meetings and conferences,” he said.

“It becomes an opportunity for us to free up some more space here for conferences and conventions.”

Central Alberta Theatre acquired the Uptown Cinema building last year. It’s renamed the downtown facility City Centre Stage and is renovating the longtime movie theatre for use as a performing arts facility — including for its own productions.

Central Alberta Theatre’s final dinner theatre at its longtime venue in the Black Knight Inn is scheduled for May. Thereafter, said Mandrusiak, those premises will be modified for alternate uses.

One possibility is to combine it with the hotel’s existing conference room to create a combined area of about 10,000 square feet. That would be only slightly smaller than the main ballroom at the Capri Centre and allow the Black Knight Inn to host larger events.

“We’re certainly looking at that,” he said, noting that his hotel’s current limit is about 200 people.

“It would take us up a couple notches for sure.”

Central Alberta Theatre has also set up its own box office, and will no longer need to use the Black Knight Ticket Centre. But Mandrusiak said the ticket outlet in his hotel will continue to operate.

Not only does the Black Knight Ticket Centre carry tickets for a variety of other events, it provides a place for merchandise sales and for staff to field hotel phone calls.

“We do a combination of things out of that area, and ticket sales is one of them.”

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com