A movie theater with a purpose - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

A movie theater with a purpose

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Canadian, TX - A movie theater inside a Canadian assisted living center has a much more important purpose than to just entertain residents.

The movie theater in the basement of the Mesa View Assisted Living, is also a storm shelter.

It didn't always look like a theater....

"When we were under construction we had this full basement down here and it was just a blank concrete brick wall, we thought oh my gosh,  what are we going to do, we can't leave this like this," said Margaret Evans who is the Interim Director and Consultant at Mesa View Assisted Living.

"We just couldn't picture how we would move all of our residents down here and just sit still while things were happening around them," Christy Francis who is the CEO of the Hemphill County Hospital said.

But one of the biggest concerns was having a place for residents to sit while they waited.

"It just blossomed into a movie theater, slash storm shelter," said Evans.

The shelter can house all of their residents and staff and is self- sufficient even if the power goes out.

"We have all of this on a generator, so if the electricity does go off out here, they're still in here, in comfort, watching a movie, eating some popcorn, and they're just relaxed," Francis said.

But the staff says the most important aspect of the theater is..

"Keeping our residents safe, so their safety is the most important thing," said Evans.

"When you have a facility that has residents in that can't always get there by themselves, it's a relief to know that we have a place to take our residents that they will be safe, so it's just a good feeling," Francis said.

Mesa View Assisted Living opened last August and is currently home to nineteen residents.