8 years after tornado, Greensburg to have theater again
GREENSBURG It's been decades since Greensburg offered people a movie theater.
That will change this month when the Twilight Theater opens, about 25 years after it closed and eight years after a tornado destroyed most of the Kiowa County town.
Grand opening events are scheduled for April 24-25.
The Hutchinson News reports the theater opened in 1917 and was a hub of activity until it closed in 1989. Renovations were scheduled to begin in May 2007, until an EF5 tornado destroyed 95 percent of the town that month.
Funds for the theater were raised again through memorials and supporter donations. Equipment was donated by Wichita theater owner Bill Warren. The $3.5 million needed for the repairs was reached when an anonymous donor offered $100,000 if the community could match it by January.
Theater executive director Adam Wagner says the new building has state-of-the-art sound, lighting and concessions systems, along with the largest screen between Wichita and Denver.
"I'm excited," Wagner said. "I can't wait to show people what the building is capable of."
Kiowa County schools will also use the building as an auditorium. Ki Gamble, a local farmer who also serves on the theater's board, says that the first school performances are scheduled for this month.
"We want to do all we can to make the community a better place for the consumers of the community," Ki Gamble said. "We want to help with quality of life issues that every community has. Getting the theater open will have a tremendous impact on quality of life in Greensburg," Gamble said.