OK Theatre counts down to 100th anniversary


Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 12.10.54 PMENTERPRISE — Fans of the OK Theatre won’t want to miss the Countdown to Centennial Celebration kickoff at the Lostine Tavern — the first in a series of fundraisers counting down to the theater’s 100th anniversary in 2019.

The theater’s brand-new signature beer, brewed especially by Terminal Gravity, will be unveiled at the kickoff event, available for purchase along with pre-Prohibition cocktails. Vali’s Alpine Restaurant will provide small plate hors d’oeuvres.

Guests are encouraged to wear period costumes to celebrate 100 years of movies and live entertainment in Wallowa County.

Plans for the upcoming theater renovations will be revealed before the main event, a most unusual auction led by professional auctioneer John Topp where bidders will compete to pay for specific items like bathroom fixtures, heating and ventilation systems or electrical installations.

OK Theatre owner Darrell Brann said the early 20th century evening is just the first of a series of events geared to raise $76,000 to complement Oregon state grant funding.

“Some of the events will be performances, some will be auctions — the timeline will be revealed at the kickoff fundraiser,” Brann said.

To pay for a long list of renovations, like main floor bathrooms, structural improvements and a new heating and ventilation system, Greater Enterprise Main Streets was awarded $100,000 from the Oregon Main Streets program, but Brann needs the community to help raise an additional $56,000.

To repair and paint the theater’s 100-year-old façade, Brann said a grant application will soon be submitted to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office for $20,000, requiring $20,000 to be raised locally.

Replacing the theater’s outdated movie projection with modern equipment is also on the list of upgrades scheduled for completion before the theater’s birthday.

Brann said the theater will close in December to begin renovations to the electrical wiring, heating and ventilation system, sealing air leaks in the “envelope” of the building and structural improvements to the stage. After the theater reopens, work will continue through June to build ADA accessible bathrooms on the theater’s main floor.

Brann and his family have operated the theater primarily as a music venue over the past four years, and they have also hosted many free movie nights and fundraisers for local nonprofits.

For tickets to the OK Theatre’s Countdown to the Centennial Celebration kickoff event, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 27, go to www.eventbrite.com.

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