Even though just one person was in the audience for the Aug. 31 showing of “Mike Wallace is Here” at Mackay Main Theater, the movie played on the big screen and the restored antique popcorn popper held fresh popcorn.
That movie marked the final installment of the theater’s regular summer programming, but not the final event expected to take place this year in the renovated, historic building in downtown Mackay.
Bill Ford, co-director of the theater and arts group in Mackay, said overall the summer was good at Mackay Main, which just marked its one-year anniversary. People showed up for movies, sometimes in large numbers, sometimes not so much. He was excited to talk about the August night when 92 people filed into the 211-seat theater for a free showing of “Dumbo.” The movie was shown during the Custer County Fair. Fair organizers arranged for the movie as a reward of sorts for 4-H and FFA youths participating in the fair.
“That was the first time in at least 12 years there’s been 92 people in the theater,” he said.
A couple weeks later in August, the theater’s lobby was rented to visitors in Mackay for the Wings Over Mackay remote control plane fly-in. They played bingo and had snacks after it was too dark to fly their planes.
Ford is anxious to find more groups who want to rent the theater. He envisions government agencies holding public meetings in the theater, especially when they need to show some sort of video because the theater is equipped with top-notch video equipment. Or he suggests agriculture dealers might want to hold a trade show at the theater. Their promotional videos could play on the big screen and some equipment could be parked outside, he said.
The theater and the arts group it’s associated with always need volunteers, Ford said. Anyone interested in helping out should call him at 208-588-3357 or post a message on the theater’s Facebook page.
The weekend of the Mike Wallace movie Ford had help from two Mackay youths. Josiah Martin Coelho, 11, said that Saturday marked either his 21st, 22nd or 23rd night as a volunteer. Jaimee Bodreaux chose to celebrate her 13th birthday weekend by volunteering at the theater for the first time.