- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

GREENSBURG, Kan. (AP) - Greensburg is getting a movie theater again after a massive tornado leveled much of the Kiowa County town eight years ago.

The Twilight Theater will begin showing films this month, with grand opening events scheduled for April 24-25.

The Hutchinson News reports (http://bit.ly/1HGXhQb ) the theater opened in 1917 and was a hub of activity until it closed in 1989. It later reopened and operated as a nonprofit theater until the tornado. Renovations had been scheduled to begin in May 2007, but an EF5 tornado destroyed 95 percent of the town that month.

Funds for the theater were raised again through memorials and supporter donations. Equipment was donated by Wichita theater owner Bill Warren. The $3.5 million needed for the repairs was reached when an anonymous donor offered $100,000 if the community could match it by January.

Theater executive director Adam Wagner says the new building has state-of-the-art sound, lighting and concessions systems, along with the largest screen between Wichita and Denver.

“I’m excited,” Wagner said. “I can’t wait to show people what the building is capable of.”

Kiowa County schools will also use the building as an auditorium. Ki Gamble, a local farmer who also serves on the theater’s board, says that the first school performances are scheduled for this month.

“We want to do all we can to make the community a better place for the consumers of the community,” Ki Gamble said. “We want to help with quality of life issues that every community has. Getting the theater open will have a tremendous impact on quality of life in Greensburg,” Gamble said.

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Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com

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