Majestic Theatre celebrates 10 years
According to a Majestic Theatre Facebook post, the venue has shown 550 movies in 10 years since the theater closed it doors Nov. 28, 2012, and anticipated a reopening date of Feb. 1, 2013, under new management of the Arts Council of Thayer County, a group of volunteers, who schedule movies and sell tickets and treats.
The Arts Council was founded in October of 2012 and became incorporated as a nonprofit in March of 2013.
Previous owner, Carla Gebers, told her story in an Oct. 31, 2012, Hebron Journal-Register article, “Committee on track to save Majestic,” by Jacque Rocole.
The movie industry had announced a year prior it would be adopting the digital format.
Cinemas would go digital or go dark, the article read.
Gebers also owned the theater in Superior and said the change meant she would have to close the Majestic.
The building itself had maintenance issues, such as a leaky roof and outdated fire codes.
Volunteers from TCEDA and Thayer County Healthy Communities Coalition were ready for the challenge.
“If the theater were to operate as a nonprofit, there would be significant opportunities for grants,” Megan Hinrichs of the Coalition, which conducted a survey among youth in the county, said.
Another volunteer, Deb Craig said Geneva, Oxford, Gothenburg and Kearney, along with two other locations in Kansas, were examples of how community members worked together to create nonprofit organizations for theaters.
“Retaining business in Thayer County is instrumental to economic development and strong communities,” Craig said.
According to the Majestic website, ACT’s first goal was to raise enough funds to update the projector. The cost of new digital projectors is $50,000 or more and members of the Thayer County Economic Development Alliance joined in to help raise funds.
By May of 2013, the new projector was installed. The ACT volunteers arranged to renovate the cinema with new seats, wall coverings and sound system.
Sponsors, advertisers, volunteers and ACT board members came together to create the venture that entertains Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays each week.
In 10 years, the Majestic has renovated the second cinema to offer two movies each showing, a stage for performances, and other community events. A “party room” for rent upstairs is another newer feature.
The theater’s history may be found at hebronmajestic.com.