Couple raising money to restore Hamilton’s historical movie theater

HAMILTON – The Roxy Theater was constructed in 1935 and has been a community treasure ever considering that.

Sadly, the theater closed in 2012, leaving the town without its motion picture theater.

Now, after staying shut for the past 10 several years, it may reopen its doors this summer season.

A youthful few who grew up in the valley acquired the theater previous calendar year and ideas to give the group its treasure back.

Matthew Powell and his spouse, Jaylyn, determined to buy the aged making as a room to host their axe-throwing firm, Sticks and Stones Axe Throwing.

Roxy Axe.jpg

Claire Peterson

Matthew Powell will get completely ready to throw an axe at a projection of sweet crush on Thursday, Feb. 16. His axe throwing company, Sticks and Stones, has tons of game titles like this 1 to make the axe throwing practical experience additional one of a kind.

They have transformed the entrance area of the theater residence into a functioning axe-throwing room, equipped with projection online games and tables.

Given that buying the developing, even so, they haven’t been ready to overlook about the 2nd theater room, which still contained motion picture seats and a big display.

They began to be impressed by the assumed of restoring the aged Roxy Theater and uncovered that the neighborhood was influenced by the assumed as very well.

“Customers that come for axe throwing, men and women just strolling by, most people is just asking for the movie theater,” Jaylyn claims.

Individuals were being eager to aid the few reach their target of reopening the theater, according to Matthew.

“Just one of the very first issues, just after we go around the axe throwing component with them is ‘is the theater nonetheless here?’ you know? ‘what about the theater?’ and we say yeah we’re operating on receiving it open up and they instantly go ‘oh my gosh, can I assistance?” he reported.

The town’s only other motion picture theater, Pharoplex, shut a pair several years back, so the Hamilton locals have to travel at least an hour to Missoula to see a film in theaters.

The city is lacking that family members-helpful leisure.

Roxy ceiling.jpg

Claire Peterson

The insulation in the theater home at the Roxy is falling by means of the suspended ceiling, one thing that would have to be completely redone in advance of opening the theater once again.

“People today are actually missing some indoor leisure,” Jaylyn states.

Jaylyn also factors out that owning additional pursuits to do in town, encourages men and women to spend their dollars regionally, relatively than commit it in Missoula or other much larger cities in the location.

The renovated Roxy Theater would be pretty exceptional due to the fact it would house the two axe-throwing and movie premiers.

Immediately after hearing the interest from the community, the Powells commenced to speak with contractors and even started off on some of the renovations by themselves.

They have partnered with Beck Builders in Hamilton to complete the undertaking.

The outdated setting up, of class, arrived with some baggage.

The ceiling in the theater room was collapsing in on alone, as a consequence of poor insulation and also much fat on the suspended ceiling.

“All the suspended ceiling is bowing from the excess weight of the insulation, and some of them have failed,” Paul Beck, operator of Beck Builders, explained. “Clearly they’ve dropped, so there’s insulation on the ground. We are unable to have that, it truly is not harmless. So we have to pull all of that out, put in a new suspended ceiling, and then put the insulation in correctly.”

Roxy ceiling 2.jpg

Claire Peterson

In addition to the insulation challenges, areas of the ceiling have also succumbed to water damage.

One more large ticket product is a new projector.

Luckily, the few has a relationship with the aged Pharoplex and is equipped to obtain their projector for $35,000. A excellent deal, as significantly as projectors go, but still a massive expenditure.

The other additional highly-priced addition is a kitchen.

In purchase to provide concessions, like popcorn or pretzels, the place has to have a performing kitchen, in accordance to Matthew.

“Kitchens are a problem,” Beck claims. “We have to uncover the pipe, do the job with the pipe, in pretty aged crawl spaces. Plumbing, Electrical, we have brick, we have all these aged issues that we have to operate all-around.”

Beck says renovations will just take at least a few months, but he is a lot more than fired up to be on board with the challenge.

“It truly is a historic developing… I imagine it is really really important to bring back a small bit of that nostalgic sense,” he claimed.


Claire Peterson

Jaylyn (still left) and Matthew (proper) Powell are younger organization owners who are established to restore the Roxy Theater in Hamilton. They have presently place lots of time and dollars into the venture. “We don’t have kids, so this is sort of come to be our kid,” Matthew suggests about the constructing.

And Beck has his very own nostalgia with the Roxy.

“I have a definitely wonderful memory of Star Wars, I feel it was the very first episode a single, we stood all the way down, we were a block down the road, down next avenue right here. it was in advance of any other theaters were being in city. So that was a genuinely great memory for me.”

Matthew and Jaylyn are only 20 years previous, but they are decided to make the restoration come about.

“They are tremendous energized, they are young, they’re business owners, they’re tremendous tough personnel,” Beck suggests. “I latched onto their enjoyment, and I want to help them make it transpire.”

To make sure the nostalgic experience stays at the Roxy, the Powells program to exhibit reruns of old flicks and will hold the building’s original search.

“We would enjoy if we could just go back again and just put it back how it was,” Matthew claims.

They also approach to use the theater to provide available, cheap amusement. They are holding concession expenses affordable and ticket selling prices will be $7 or significantly less.

ROXY outdoor piece.jpg

Claire Peterson

Matthew Powell details out the window on the exterior of the Roxy setting up. This is the place people today utilised to purchase their tickets in advance of heading inside of, and is just just one of the quite a few historic charms that the Powell’s program to retain in the renovated edition.

Their key target with the Roxy is to give back again to the community, rather than make revenue from it.

The two work total-time positions on top rated of proudly owning their axe-throwing enterprise, so they have other means to assist themselves.

“We’re not seeking to open the theater as a way to make a residing for ourselves,” Matthew states. “We do not consider this is likely to make us millions. We are strictly executing this mainly because we feel the community has carried out so a great deal for us, we want to give them a little something in return.”

In buy to make the undertaking materialize, the Powell’s are inquiring for local community assist.

They have started off a Kickstarter with the goal to elevate $145,000 before March 17. This funds will help the project come about sooner than if the Powell’s were to attempt and preserve the dollars by themselves.

They feel Hamilton will be inclined to enable in buy to convey a theater back to the city.

“We have put a lot of time and dollars out of our individual particular pockets into it,” Matthew says.

By working with Kickstarter, the Powell’s will not receive any of the donations if they do not achieve each and every penny of their target.

They are also equipped to offer you benefits for donations, this sort of as free T-shirts, movie tickets and even promotion for nearby providers.

Extra on their campaign to “Convey Back the Roxy” can be located on their Kickstarter page, exactly where donations can also be designed.

“Every hour that we have set in to it, we have fallen a lot more in appreciate with this challenge, so we really want to make it take place,” Jaylyn states.

Shirley McQuay

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