Friends of the Midwest Theater celebrating 15th anniversary
This November marks the 15th anniversary of the formation of Friends of the Midwest Theater. This led to the reopening of the Midwest Theater on Thanksgiving weekend, 1998, with the movie "Home Alone."
According to Willa Kosman, past Executive Director and part of the original Board of the friends of the Midwest Theater, "We have had so many supporters over the past 15 years, both financially and as volunteers that we want to give something back to the community this holiday season." To celebrate and to thank our community for the incredible support we've been given, The Midwest Theater will be showing "Home Alone" on Nov 29th, 7:30pm, the Friday after Thanksgiving, followed by the classic "White Christmas" on Saturday, Nov 30, 7:30pm. Both films will be shown in new brilliant digital restoration and are FREE to the public.
Friday, Nov. 29th, 7:30 - "Home Alone"
Saturday, Nov 30th, 7:30 - "White Christmas"
Constructed in 1946 in the Art Moderne style, the Midwest Theater opened with great fanfare. The theater was and still is an important icon on Scottsbluff's main street.
The Midwest entertained our region with great movies until 1996 when it closed. The theater was donated to the Oregon Trail Community Foundation and was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1997. Friends of the Midwest Theater incorporated in 1998 and received its 501c3 tax status in 2000 to enable more efficient fundraising for needed renovations.
FMT raised $1.3 million for renovations and to purchase the adjacent building so the venue could function as a multipurpose facility with handicapped accessibility. The renovations included the marquee, all new HVAC, electrical work, carpeting, recovering and painting theater seats, and a two month visit from painting conservators to repair cracks, clean and touchup the original art work of the theater, and remodeling of the adjacent building for concessions, accessible restrooms, dressing rooms and rehearsal space. There are two fabulous days that will always stay in our minds: the day in 2002 when we turned on the renovated marquee during the Christmas Parade in front of thousands of people and the day the scaffolding came down inside the auditorium and the beautiful artwork on the walls was brought back to its original brilliance. The most recent accomplishment in the summer of 2013 was a $200,000.00 Digital Projection System and Dolby 7.1 surround sound upgrade. Today the theater is alive with activity.
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