With the smell of fresh popcorn and a cold drink to go with it. It's show time once again at the Colonnade Theater in Millersburg, after a 14-year absence. And the theater's owners, The Twin Valley Players, are delighted.
“Our goal for the theater was to keep that hometown feel, but give people a state of the art theater experience,” said TVP President Jack Geyer.
The theater building and its contents were donated to the non-profit performing arts group in 2008 by the Troutman family, long-time owners and operators of the theater. The new theater features current and classic movies in digital format, Dolby Surround Sound and stadium seating. It's a dream come true for everyone involved in the theater's rebirth.
“I never thought I would be this involved in the movies,” said Geyer from behind the lobby concession stand. “It's a lot of fun in ways, but it was a long road to get to the place where we are now.”
Initial plans called for refurbishing the original 1919 facility, but numerous structural concerns and a badly worn interior forced its demolition. The new theater stands at the same center street location, with seating reduced from nearly 500 to 146, overlooking a large screen for movies and a refurbished stage for the group's annual musicals and other live performances.
Theater manager Adam Steppy grew up enjoying films at the Colonnade and hopes that having a quality movie theater back in town benefits the entire Millersburg community.
“I want people to be able to come to Millersburg and enjoy the area,” said Steppy, cueing up a movie on a computer pad. “I think the movies will bring people to Millersburg. I'm hoping that the culture will keep them here.”
Gone from the projection booth are the large 35 millimeter film projectors and re-wind machines, but they and several other artifacts from the original theater will be on display in the theater lobby.
After three months back in business, the Colonnade appears to be a big hit.
“I think every night I'm here,” said Geyer, “people actually say thank you for bringing a theater back to Millersburg.”
Movies are shown on weekends and holidays and private rentals are available. A list of what's playing and when can be found at www.tvpcolonnade.com.