Movies making a comeback at Negaunee theater

A community theater in downtown Negaunee is putting the finishing touches on a new and different project.

The Vista Theater was built in 1925 as a state-of-the-art movie house and vaudeville theater. The Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council has kept the theater running as a performing arts facility since the 70’s. Recently, PAAC has been hard at work towards bringing motion pictures back to its repertoire with help from numerous community contributions and a grant from the Cliffs Natural Resources/Eagle Mine Marquette County Community Fund.

“So we got the movie projector in and we put that in,” said PAAC Executive Director Alfred Keefer. “We had to do an electric upgrade in the theater, we had to do that. We’re looking at doing surround sound so it sounds really good, so we’ve got all kinds of speakers going up all over the place, and then we’ve finally got our big screen that came in yesterday. There was a lot of work to put this in and a lot of people did a lot of work for this. We’re excited because we’re like a week away, and as you can see behind us, we’re ready to go.”

PAAC plans to use the equipment to show a variety of movies, from classics to family films and beyond. There are also plans to play host to locally-produced films.

“In the U.P., I’ve dealt with a lot of good independent filmmakers, and we’re hoping that coming up down the line, even starting this October, that we’re going to start doing some independent films here and actually have local film directors and actors all be participating in this type of project so we can show it right here at the Vista,” Keefer added. “It’s just at the start of it, but just like this project, you know, we started it and it blossomed fast.”

A variety of movies will be playing daily during Negaunee’s Pioneer Week starting July 5th, and beyond that, PAAC plans to continue to show films on a regular basis.

For more information on what’s being shown, head to their website.