George Harrison of C&H Properties cleared one more hurdle Monday in the race to build a movie theater in Payson. He successfully purchased the old Wal-Mart building off Highway 260.
"We closed escrow on the building this morning," Harrison said Monday. Now, he said, he'll begin his plan to transform the old retail store into a four-plex movie theater.
"We've already looked at bids for architects, and we're working with the town to obtain a conditional-use permit," Harrison said.
"Any theater requires a conditional use permit," Payson Town Manager Rich Underkofler said.
"As of yet, Harrison hasn't submitted any plans for the renovation of that old Wal-Mart structure.
Once that ball is rolling, Harrison said anxious movie buffs will likely see construction begin by summer.
"If everything goes perfect, we'll still be able to do this this year," he said.
Harrison said he and a local group of investors plan to build and manage the theater complex as an independent company.
As for his competitor at the other end of the town, Harrison maintains that he's not concerned about the expected opening this year of the six-screen theater at Sawmill Crossing.
"That's what competition is all about," he said.