$90K will help keep Evelyn Theater in Dumas open - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

$90K will help keep Evelyn Theater in Dumas open

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Randy Nies / Source: KFDA Randy Nies / Source: KFDA

If you grew up in the Panhandle odds are you have fond memories of taking a trip to watch movies either in your town's theater or a nearby town.

The City of Dumas, along with the Economic Development Corporation, will keep some of those memories alive with the recent approval of a $90,000 renovation budget for the Evelyn Theater.

Without the funds the theater was likely going to close its doors. Owner Randy Nies says he was planning on shutting the theater down after celebrating its 70th anniversary in January.

"We were looking at probably closing within the next few months simply because the funds were not there for the remodeling," Nies said. "Its life was fixing to be short of life, so hopefully this will rejuvenate everything and bring new life into everything."

City officials and Nies are optimistic that the new renovations will keep the theater alive and attract residents from surrounding towns. 

"The town has grown and there is a demand for entertainment in Dumas," Nies said. "We feel that if we can keep a respectful, very clean place where (visitors) would like to come to spend their time and see a movie they can do it here locally instead of having to leave town."

Updates will include repairs to the building's interior and exterior, repainting and new seats. 

Nies says another pressing challenge the Evelyn faces is competing with online streaming, a familiar battle for thousands in the entertainment industry.

"In today's world where streaming and Netflix is so popular, it is harder to get people to come in and have that movie experience," Nies said.

Construction for the theater is expected to start within 30 days.

There is not a set date for when the updates will be done but Nies says he would like the renovations to be done by spring.

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