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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group has donated a new retractable screen and a new movie projector for use in the municipal building auditorium.
The screen and projector were used for the first time during the Colfax Public Library’s “Christmas in Colfax” event for the showing of “Toy Story 4.”
The permanently installed movie screen that, when it is rolled up, is hidden above the stage, replaces the portable movie screen purchased by the Colfax Commercial Club.
The Commercial Club bought the portable screen with the idea of showing outdoor movies, and now that there is a permanent screen in the auditorium, outdoor movies could be a possibility this summer.
“We wanted to upgrade. The old projector was not very compatible with laptops, and the old screen worked fine, but it was a real pain to keep moving back and forth and up and down, depending on what event was going on,” said CMBRG member Troy Knutson.
“We also wanted to make the screen more user-friendly for whoever holds events upstairs. This way, they just have to push a button to set the screen up and have it ready to go,” he said.
Actually getting the screen up to the auditorium turned out to be an adventure all on its own.
For those who have been in the municipal building, you know there is a short flight of steps leading up from the street level to the library level, and then two more flights of stairs leading up to the auditorium.
When you come in the back door by way of the handicapped accessible ramp, there are two short 90-degree turns to reach the main hallway by the village clerk’s office and the library.
Because the box with the movie screen was so long, there was not enough room to turn it to get it up the stairs coming in the front door — or to make the 90-degree turns going to the back steps to the auditorium.
So how did the movie screen actually make it up to the auditorium?
Well, if it had not been for village employees Don Logslett and Mitch Kreutzer, the movie screen would still be sitting in a long box on the sidewalk in front of the municipal building.
Logslett and Kreutzer brought the village’s end loader, and the movie screen was hoisted up and taken in through a window in the auditorium.
Then came the task of installing the retractable screen.
The screen operates, incidentally, by remote control.
With the help of Anderson Bridges, Sid Hoke, John Hurlburt and Synergy, the movie screen was successfully installed above the stage.
John Hurlburt is the husband of Colfax Public Library Director Lisa Bragg-Hurlburt.
Sid Hoke is one of the owners of H&H Plumbing in Colfax.
The cost of the movie screen and the projector was a little over $6,000, and CMBRG has been holding bake sales to cover the cost.
The Colfax Public Library Board also approved donating $500 toward the purchase at the board’s December meeting.
“Our group has been setting aside our bake sale money, and we will still keep taking the bake sale money and putting it toward the cost,” Knutson said.
The movie screen fills the width of the stage from curtain edge to curtain edge, and the screen and the projector worked very well for the showing of “Toy Story 4.”
The Colfax Commercial Club, in conjunction with the Colfax Public Library and the Colfax Elevator Commission, will be showing an Elvis Presley double feature in the Cozy Theater on Saturday, January 11.
In years gone by, when movies were shown in the auditorium every week, the venue was known as “The Cozy Theater.”
The Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group, the Colfax Commercial Club, and the Colfax Village Board’s Elevator Commission encourage everyone to take advantage of events being held in the auditorium.
As Knutson is fond of saying — the more people who attend events in the municipal building, the more likely it is that future generations also will be interested in using and preserving the building.
Admission to the Elvis Presley double feature of “Blue Hawaii” and “Viva Las Vegas,” is free.
More information on the Elvis Presley event is included elsewhere in this week’s edition of the Colfax Messenger.