VINTON — Volunteers helped move old, outdated seats out of the Vinton Palace Theater on Saturday as part of a $125,000 renovation.
The theater, which first opened in 1915, underwent a digital conversion two years ago, which upgraded the sound and added the capability to show 3D films.
“It’s just another step forward for the theater,” Gerald Horst, who manages the theater with his wife, Marcy, said of the ongoing upgrades. The theater’s balcony also is about to be remodeled.
The theater’s old seats will be donated to the Mount Vernon Community Center. The new seats, which cost $35,000, already were sitting on the theater’s stage on Saturday, waiting to be installed.
“We’re going to move a whole row off the floor, so that increases leg room,” Horst said, and the seats also lean back a bit.
Horst said the building isn’t just used as a movie theater.
“We use this space for live productions through Act One and then we also have community meetings here,” he said.
At least 50 volunteers work to keep the theater running.
“When you tally up the amount of hours they put in and put a price tag on that, it’s pretty significant, well over $20,000 a year,” Marcy Horst said.
Ticket prices at the theater are $4.
“We just want to ensure this is a place people want to come to, the comfort and the convenience is what people want,” Marcy Horst said.
The Vinton Palace Theater will reopen Friday, Sept. 21.