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Lyric Theater one year young

By Staff | Mar 13, 2014

File Photo The chairs, the marquee and the heating system are some upgrades Friends of the Lyric want done to the movie theater in Rugby.

This weekend will be a big one for the Lyric Theater, as it is celebrating its one-year anniversary of showing movies in Rugby.

The first movie was shown at the restored Lyric on March 17, 2013. To celebrate one year of showing movies, in addition to its regularly scheduled weekend movie, the Lyric will be showing two free matinees. The first one is for the kids, and it will be shown this afternoon. The second one, a documentary film called “Northern Lights”, will be shown Sunday afternoon.

The film talks about the political and economic conditions in 1915 in North Dakota. It also focuses on the Nonpartisan League, a political party from Beach that was a part of the Republican party before becoming part of the Democratic party, and its role in North Dakota history.

Last summer, the theater upgraded to a digital sound and projection system. However, Friends of the Lyric president Sue Steinke says that fundraising for the theater hasn’t quit, as there are plans for more work to be done.

“It’s a 1922 building with 1922 chairs, electrical and plumbing,” Steinke said. “We are having continual problems with the furnace and heating system there. Our fundraising efforts are continuing, and we ask the community to keep us in mind for their donation dollars.”

Steinke said that upgrades done to the plumbing, include the addition of hot water in the bathrooms. Wiring was updated during the digital conversion.

Another issue Steinke said needs to be addressed is the marquee outside the theater.

“If you ever walk under the marquee after it’s rained, you’ll see that it bows,” Steinke said. “The white board under there bows, and none of us have been brave enough to dig up in there. It fills up with water and I’m sure everything is rotten in there.”

Steinke said the plan is to eventually replace the current marquee with a digital one. Also on the list is what to do about the theater seats. To fix all issues would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

For one year, Steinke said that the Lyric hasn’t had issues working with most movie companies.

“The movie companies have been very good to work with, the brokers have been very good to work with. It surprised me a little that most of them, not all of them, will bend over backwards to help you,” Steinke said.

A couple of struggles in the past have been getting popular movies into a town the size of Rugby, and getting more volunteers.

“Without the volunteers three nights a week, the theater will close. This is really a community effort to keep the theater open,” Steinke said.

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