Bear Pause Theater

Ceco Building Systems

For people in Hackensack, Minnesota, a town of fewer than 300 people in the north central part of the state, going to see a movie meant traveling a minimum of 45 miles in any direction.

Business owner Kevin Larson and wife Sue decided their tiny town needed its own entertainment, a business that would allow residents and nearby townspeople to enjoy a movie in town, at the same time building the economy of Hackensack. Their partners at the time decided to name the facility the Bear Pause Theater to reflect the northern location and to serve as an invitation for townspeople to take time out of their busy schedule and see a movie.

To bring their theater idea to reality, they hired Kuepers Construction of Baxter, Minnesota, as architect and general contractor, using Ceco Building Systems products and expertise. The 13,268 square-foot pre-engineered steel building was completed in seven months and now serves as a beautiful cinema not only for movies but as a gathering place for private parties, business meetings, children's parties and other events.

"Ceco and our 750 authorized Ceco Builders are always ready to meet our clients' needs with a custom-designed integrated steel building system," says Ceco President Roger Burlingame. "And, the Bear Pause Theater is another good example of that."

According to Steven Kuepers, Executive Vice President of Kuepers Construction, the Bear Pause Theater transcends all other movie-going experiences in the region, blending innovative technology with a rustic "up north" ambiance. "The theater's four movie bays feature stadium seating and have a total seating capacity of 482," Kuepers commented. "We had to get inventive and creative to address the challenges relating to the use of pre-engineered steel for this type of facility." He added that using pre-engineered steel eliminated the loadbearing walls commonly associated with theater designs, reducing the amount of functional obsolescence should the building be converted for another use in the future.

The theater building features concrete masonry separation walls between common areas and theaters. The front façade is comprised of St. Croix simulated stone wainscot, stone/log columns, log truss accents and half-log trim boards. Ceco products used included CXP roof panels and MSP wall panels.

And construction during those Minnesota winters? Kuepers said the bulk of the project was completed during the winter, which did affect the construction schedule, but the completion date was only one month later than scheduled.

Theater owners Kevin and Sue Larson said working with Kuepers was easy. "I'm a contractor myself," commented Kevin, "and I was able to work with them quite well. We get a lot of compliments about our facility."

About Kuepers, Inc.

Founded in 1974, Kuepers, Inc., is a family-owned and operated company, located in Baxter, Minnesota. Kuepers provides custom design and quality construction services to clients throughout Minnesota and surrounding areas. Its custom approach to building includes exceptional craftsmanship, unparalleled architecture, and an extensive interior design center. Kuepers’ primary focus is on the construction of buildings and homes that are specifically suited to meet the needs and lifestyles of its customers.

About Ceco Building Systems

Ceco Building Systems designs and fabricates metal buildings. For more information, visit

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