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New Projector At Edmond Town Hall Improves Theater Experience



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A closet-size room behind the Edmond Town Hall Theatre balcony holds a new piece of equipment: an NEC NC1200c. The new projector now takes up space in the cubby, enabling a better-quality theater experience, said Operations Manager Sheila Torres.

Ms Torres led the way up the staircase off the town hall’s main lobby, around the corner and down the hall to where a door stood ajar. Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers Chair and Vice Chair Jen Chaudhary and Jen Guman, respectively, also slipped inside. The new projector is big, and up and running, Ms Chaudhary confirmed, and would show its first movie at 7 pm Friday, February 14.

Edmond Town Hall Theatre, the historic theater and movie house located at 45 Main Street, was closed for three days beginning February 11, to upgrade its digital movie projector. All theater activities, including movies, ceased until February 14 as installers upgraded to a larger projector that will improve image resolution, brightness, and sound for all movies and will make it possible to project films with 4K resolution, which provides much more image detail.

“The projector makes us higher-resolution capable,” Ms Torres said. “The industry keeps improving,” and the quick view she had of scenes played through the projector are a sharper image, she said. “What a difference.”

It is not just for movies, said Ms Chaudhary.

“It enhances live events like business conferences with presentations.” It improves the “live event experience,” she said.

Installers had the projector in place and running inside the three-day window after the managers had seized an opportunity to purchase the projector at a significantly reduced rate — $5,000. The money comes from an ongoing and long-standing theater restoration fund. A donation box stands in the town hall lobby, Ms Chaudhary said.

“We don’t use that money for operations,” Ms Torres said. Money is used for upgrades.

Spies in the Skies is scheduled to open begin a week of screenings at the theater at 7 pm Friday, marking the new projector’s first movie. Screenings continue until December 20, with additional shows planned Saturday through Tuesday, February 15-18, to correspond with the winter break for local schools

Visit our calendar page for screening times and other information.

Ongoing Improvements

The projector upgrade is part of an overall improvement effort that began last spring with safety improvements to theater rigging and continues with the projector upgrade, and lighting improvements later this spring. All changes being made are part of an overall effort to improve the audience experience in the 500-seat proscenium theater.

The Board of Managers — six electors in charge of building oversight — has been working to host more live performances, provide audiences with new offerings, and grow attendance. The changes made so far have made it possible to host the Newtown Savings Bank Music Series during the past year. A second music series is scheduled to start on March 28.

Edmond Town Hall, completed in 1931 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was a gift from Newtown benefactor Mary Elizabeth Hawley. It has served as the center of the community and the heart of Newtown since its inception by providing generations of residents and neighbors with governmental services space; affordable family entertainment through its proscenium theater; sports opportunities in its gymnasium; and space in its Alexandria banquet hall for gatherings, fundraisers, civic events, or to celebrate life events.

In December, one young couple celebrated their wedding in the historic building, surprising friends and family who thought they would be attending the couple’s engagement party.

Event rentals, movies, and a modest disbursement from a trust fund provide most, but not all, of the building’s operating expenses. Information on upcoming events and rental opportunities is available at edmondtownhall.org.

'Frozen II' Free Movie Weekend

Friday, February 21, through Sunday, February 23, will be the theater's next free movie weekend, compliments of Ingersoll Auto of Danbury.

On screen will be Frozen II. The sequel to 2013's blockbuster that introduced the world to Elsa the Snow Queen (voiced by Idina Menzel), her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), and the megahit "Let It Go," Frozen II is rated PG and has a running time of 1 hour, 43 minutes.

The free screenings are planned for February 21-23, with all nine shows that weekend free of charge.

Frozen II will continue at the theater through February 27. Visit our calendar page for screening times and other information.

Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers chair Jennifer Chaudhary on Friday, February 14, stands beside the new movie projector installed in the days prior at the Edmond Town Hall Theatre. The projector enables a higher-resolution, enhancing movies and live events with presentations.—Bee Photo Bobowick
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