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Friday, May 6, 2016

Keeping Roxy up to her finest

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Roxy Theater has a rich history and has provided an assortment of entertainment and has served as a meeting place for groups and organizations over the some 100 years of its existence.

Located in the heart of Alta's business district, the theater is in need of some updating. Brad Nesbitt and Fred Maharry, members of the Roxy Renovation Committee, are asking for anyone who has enjoyed the Roxy to take part financially.

"People who come here are impressed with the theater," said Nesbitt, who has helped in the direction of high school musical productions presented on the stage as well as high school and has led many a speech group onto the stage. "We are proud of what we have but things are outdated."

The Roxy Renovation Committee is looking for $15,000 to complete four projects:

* The replacement of the house lights. Though the dim lights served their purpose in the past as movie goers located their seats in the theater, the dismal look is not desired any longer as the theater is being used for more activities including large meetings. "We think it could be a lot brighter," Nesbitt commented.

* Updating the downstairs restroom. This area of the theater has not been refurbished since the 1950s.

* Making the facility handicap accessible.

* Restoring the front of the building to its original grandeur.

"We are hoping the parents and grandparents and even those kids that have moved on feel that our programs have given them satisfaction," Nesbitt said. It is hoped that many of those people will want to contribute so that the theater can go on to serve the community in the best capacity it can.

In its young years, the Roxy was operated by Elmer Svendsen. For 20 years, he proudly presented Hollywood's best movies on the big screen.

The Roxy has also served as a meeting place for many organizations as well as the newly formed Summit Evangelical Church 10 years ago.

The City of Alta gained ownership of the theater after Svendsen decided, as technology increased, in 1961 to end his theater business. The City of Alta gained ownership of the structure and sold it to the school in 1990.

The Buena Vista Community Theater troupe has called the Roxy home since 1991, presenting an annual production since that time.

Maharry and Nesbitt point out that the theater is used nearly all year round; this may be news to some people.

The high school musical is presented each fall; rehearsals for this year's production of "Calamity Jane" have been underway for several weeks. Large group speech students prepare their work on the Roxy stage. A speech day is held in late winter for the community to come and see the dedicated students perform their work prior to state competition.

The spring high school performance is presented in early April. Rehearsals and presentation of the Buena Vista County Community Theater group takes place in late spring and early summer.

Damaged occurred to the theater in the early summer when the roof leaked. Insurance funds were received and the damages rendered.

It is hoped that the $15,000 can be received soon; it is also hoped to match the amount of funds received from the public.

Iris Halverson has already donated $2,000 for the cause and the BVC Community Theater board has donated $500.

Grants have been looked for but none are available at this time to fund such a project. The search will continue.

If anyone would like to learn more about the Roxy and how you can help in this cause, contact Brad Nesbitt or Fred Maharry at the high school or Jeff James at Heritage Bank. All donations will be tax deductible.

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