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Ohio Theatre, with its lavish seating and cozy atmosphere, is ready to beckon many more people to its refurbished environs over the next several months.
A series of films will be shown, plus the production of “Les Miserables” by Loudonville High School students.
An example of film that will be shown is “Gone With the Wind,” first shown in Loudonville on April 17, 1940. It will be shown and celebrated April 17 and 18, the 75th anniversary of its original showing.
The events at the theater — an opera house opened in 1909 — are being organized by Kenny Young.
Ohio Theatre has gotten much attention recently, Young said. A lot of it is because the theater now has revamped heating and cooling. Films and productions are regularly scheduled.
The recent performance of “Phantom of the Opera” allowed area residents to get reacquainted with Julie Anna Crookston, who had performed in Loudonville during the village’s bicentennial production about Mabel Berra in August.
Young said the theater was full that day, even though one performance was on a Saturday — a snow day.
That day, Young circulated information about Friends of the Ohio Theatre. This is a new group Young suggested be formed, to support efforts at the theatre. Those who attended the “Phantom of the Opera” production were asked if they wanted to support the theater in a variety of ways. People could express support by saying they would volunteer at the theater. Or they could give donations.
About $2,000 was collected from donations then, Young said.
The new group, Friends of the Ohio Theatre, is working with an older group of people who supported the theatre, Loudonville Theatre Arts Committee.
Young decided to approach theater patrons directly. He said he has many other ideas about how to help create more interest in the theater. He is interested in doing a special of John Wayne films, and he has explored the possibility of having wine and cheese tastings in conjunction with theater productions.
The village of Loudonville has said no to having wine and beer in the theater, citing an ordinance officials say prevents such an action, Young said. But he thinks there is a possibility differences can be worked through so that more events can be held at the historic theater.
For more information, visit www.theohiotheatre.com.