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It's lights, camera, action for cinema following tornado

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Green River Cinema 6 now open as repair work continues

By Calen McKinney

 

The popcorn is popping and the previews rolling again at Green River Cinema 6.

After a tornado in December with wind speeds of more than 100 mph, the cinema's roof and walls suffered extensive water damage. As a result, the cinema had to close its doors for the holidays - one of its busiest times of the year.

Several other businesses suffered damage during the storm, but all opened their doors again within days.

Camille Holt, general manager at the cinema, said the building suffered roof and water damage, as well as damage to its sign. Water came down some walls and damaged some equipment.

After the storm, Holt said she had hoped to open the cinema for Christmas. That didn't happen, however, and work to get the cinema up and running again has continued since.

The cinema opened its doors again last Friday, Holt said earlier this week, and stayed open throughout the weekend. Three of the theater's six screens were open.

And while Holt says the theater is officially open again, rain earlier in the week revealed a few leaks in the new roof and forced her to cancel showings Monday and Tuesday night.

"It's just a little bit of a setback," she said on Tuesday. "Each day, it's our goal to be open."

Since the storm, Holt said, the roof has been replaced, a new projector is on order, several interior walls have been rebuilt and the lobby and a large mural have been touched up. She said moviegoers will notice a few blemishes in the theaters.

While lots of work has been done, Holt said, there is more left to do. The front doors have to be replaced, she said. And the theater's marquee and framed poster windows aren't repaired yet.

"We've done some painting," Holt said. "A little bit of sprucing up. It's hard to do when you don't have an income for a month. Everything's just like bright and shiny now."

Holt said she hopes workers can make a lot of progress this week on getting the cinema back to full operation. Her goal, she said, is to have movies showing on five of the six screens by tomorrow.

The theater won't be open for matinee showings during the week just yet, however, and one theater will remain closed until a new projector arrives.

"It's a pretty involved process to get it installed," she said.

And though the theater opened its doors again on Friday, Holt said, the weekend crowd was sparse. She said she advertised the re-opening on Facebook and knows the news was passed by word-of-mouth.

"And this week, I hope that will continue," she said.

Holt said she is working with Barry Blevins' construction company to do the repairs and submit insurance paperwork. She said she has been told the majority of the damage will be paid for with insurance proceeds.

"We're gonna be OK," she said.

And that means customers very likely won't have to pay higher prices for their movies and concessions.

"That's not my plan," Holt said. "The owners could come in and say that, but that's not in our plan whatsoever."

Holt said she hopes to once again offer a variety of movies for customers and see the lobby full of moviegoers again.

"I think the community's missed having a theater," she said.

Holt said the time off hasn't cost her any employees. One left for another job, but that move was anticipated, she said, and another went back to school, which was also planned.

Holt said she had wanted to paint the lobby and do some upgrades for a long time.

" ... It's fresh and new and it looks a lot better," she said. "I think people will notice that when they walk in."

Holt said she wants to keep moving forward.

"I was just glad to have something on the screen, to hear the popcorn machine and to talk to customers."

Holt said residents have been really supportive of the theater's efforts to see movies on the screen again.

"They've been really nice," she said. "We're just happy to be back in business."