Parts and a technician are on the way for repair work to the digital projection system at the Hyart Theatre amid hopes that the theater can be back up and running for this weekend’s movie.
The projector worked perfectly fine for the Friday night showing of “Daddy’s Home 2,” theater manager Wendy Roth said, but when she started to run the first preview before the Saturday matinee, “everyone’s skin tone was green,” she said.
“It was perfect (the night before),” Roth said, “but I could tell it was not going to be an easy fix.”
She informed the audience that they could watch the movie with the green tint or get a refund, and after about half the audience left, she continued the previews, but after calling a technician she was advised it would be better to not run the film, so she stopped the previews again and informed the audience there would be no matinee showing, adding that if the Saturday night movie was going to play, the outside marquee lights would be on.
“Everyone was really pleasant about it,” Roth said. “People were disappointed, but people were nice about it and I received lots of well wishes.”
Roth worked with the technician over the phone Saturday evening and again on Monday, to no avail.
“He and I spent hours on it yesterday and Saturday,” Roth said Tuesday. “He walked me through the steps and gave me everything I’m comfortable doing. Nothing changed anything.”
The technician has been working on a theater in Idaho this week but was hoping to make the trip to Lovell Wednesday and continue work on Thursday. The fix could be something as simple as a cable, but it could also be an integrated cinema processor (ICP), which would cost around $3,200.
“We’ll keep our fingers crossed and pray it’s not more than that,” Roth said, adding that, in a worst case scenario, the fix could require a new “light engine,” which would cost $5,000 to $8,000. She said the problem has to do with the lack of a red hue in the system, called the red path.
Roth said the ICP has already been ordered and was to be on hand when the technician arrived Wednesday. If it’s a cable or something else simple, the part can be sent back. If it’s the ICP, the part being there will allow for an immediate repair. If it’s the light engine, that would lead to the movie being cancelled this weekend.
If the technician can complete his work in Idaho and make the quick repair in Lovell, Roth hopes to run “Daddy’s Home 2” again on Thursday night, already receiving permission from the distributor. And she has the much anticipated “Ferdinand” opening Friday and wants to show it on its national opening day.
Roth said information about the showings and repair progress will be posted on the Hyart’s website, www.hyarttheatre.com, and on Facebook. People should also watch the marquee, Roth said, adding, “If the outside lights are on, we’re running.”
Meanwhile, the Hyart Restoration Committee is continuing to work on repairing the roof of the 67-year-old building. Committee member Mike Steenbakkers said Tuesday that the roof has been patched and is holding for now, but a study done more than a year ago showed that the roof needs to be replaced.
“We can patch it only so long, and it becomes a matter of structural integrity and safety,” Steenbakkers said. “It’s still safe at this point, but the old building is starting to wear out.”
He said the study estimated repair costs of $60,000 for a five-year fix to $150,000 for a much longer solution.
“I’d hate to spend $60,000 and be back here in five years,” he said, “but we don’t have $150,000 to spend and don’t want the ask the community to kick in that much (after funding the digital upgrade a few years ago).”
The committee is planning to seek a Wyoming Business Council Community Enhancement Grant. Such a grant is issued on an 80-20 split, and half of the match, 10 percent, can be in-kind work such as a local person or business offering to haul off roofing material or performing electrical or plumbing work.
Thus, the committee may only have to come up with a 10 percent cash match, but even that would be a challenge, Steenbakkers said.
“We’d have to come up with 10 percent, which we might be able to handle on our own, but $15,000 (10 percent of $150,000) would drain our coffers,” he said.
He said a Crowd-funding account has about $5,000 in it and donations can be given at the Hyart or the Bank of Lovell.
Steenbakkers said the Hyart committed has retained Stefanie Padilla to write the Community Enhancement Grant, which is due March 1, after considering a number of different grant options.
By David Peck