Yellow Creek Theater is undergoing a facelift this month in anticipation of its opening night on July 6. The work has been donated and involved some red tape that is taking the improvements down to the wire.
"In two weeks we have to have the bridge painted," said Ron Eiselstein of the non-profit Yellow Creek Theater.
He said the work began last month when contractor Jerry Gunn began plaster work on the bridge support surface. He said the surface was getting pitted from the use of road salt and weathering.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Contractor Jerry Gunn had to wade in the creek to get under the U.S. 224 bridge to make repairs to what becomes the Yellow Creek Theater screen. He is hoping to get the concrete painted in time for the opening of the theater on July 6.
To make the repairs, Gunn had to hand-carry a scaffold across the creek. He had several volunteers wearing high-water boots to handle the equipment. Over the past couple weeks, he has been using a high-grade plaster to patch what will soon become a movie screen.
"We were talking about bringing a bucket truck and parking it in the creek," Eiselstein said. "The Army Corp of Engineers wouldn't permit that."
The scaffold was the other option and one that Gunn accepted as a way to get the job done.
For the painting, Eiselstein said they needed a special paint, costing $200 to $300 for a five-gallon bucket. The original idea was to paint it with a flat white paint, but ODOT officials said that would not be a good idea.
"The flat paint would give road salt a place to stick to and cause more pitting," he said.
At the present, Eiselstein has found the right paint to use, but it must be approved by ODOT before it can go on.
"We're really pushing the clock here," he said.
The free outdoor community theater is schedule to open on July 6 with "The Band Wagon," starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. The theater will operate every Friday through Aug. 24.
Eiselstein said the funding for the bridge repair and for the license to show the movies comes from local businesses who buy advertising space on the screen prior to the movie.
"We don't get government funding," Eiselstein said. "We rely on our sponsors."
The theater averages 300 to 600 people each night. It is a free community theater open to everyone. There is ample seating on a graded hillside where people can pitch lawn chairs.
The movies are shown under a one-time license that is purchased. The list of movies and dates for 2012 can be seen at www.yellowcreektheater.com.