Thursday, 26 October 2017 10:56

No such thing as unlucky 13 for Lyceum Theatre

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Jarod Johnson added to the experience as he 'mingled' with the crowd Oct. 13 on behalf of Dead Prairie Productions. Jarod Johnson added to the experience as he 'mingled' with the crowd Oct. 13 on behalf of Dead Prairie Productions. Photo contributed

The number 13 is usually considered an unlucky number for those who are superstitious or perhaps for any of the unsuspecting and naive characters who are part of the fictitious Friday the 13th movie victims.

Well don't tell that to Lyceum Theatre's spokesperson and manager Wendy Klein.
As part  of the Double Feature Horror Night on Friday, Oct. 13 where the original 1980 version of Friday the 13th movie was shown with the latest version of It, Oman wanted to show his support of the classic old theatre which has helped Oman in the past by donating the proceeds of the evening back to the theatre.
Oman was able to get the movies organized and arranged to be part of a show and experience where he had one of his regular actors Jarod Johnson dress up to act as scary host to all patrons who came in.
When all the screams subsided, a total of $1,500 was raised for the theatre.
"The Double Feature horror night was a huge success," explained Klein. "Lyceum Theatre is a community theatre owned and operated by a non-profit co-operative. This small co-operative believes in providing quality entertainment for the movie goers at low prices so they and their family are able to spend quality family time together at the movies for reasonable and affordable prices. Because we are non-profit we must create fund raisers and/or ask for donations from the public.
Klein says all funds that are donated are ear marked for projects to upgrade the theatre. Theatre volunteers just recently did a complete lobby makeover - new paint, new flooring, new tile in the concession kiosk.
The project which the theatre board deemed necessary is replacement of the roofing units which provide heat and air conditioning. These units are very old close to 40 years she says and will need to be changed. Klein adds parts for the current units are difficult to obtain if they can be found at all. A new system would be more cost effective. Thanks to Oman and Dead Prairies, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
"I was very pleasantly surprised at the turnout we received for the (Friday the 13th) double feature. I had felt close to the date it could be close to a capacity crowd (capacity would be 220) but I did not anticipate we would have to turn away approximately 70 people," says Klein. "At that moment you silently wish you had 300 seats so no one would miss the two fantastic movies. The timing of the Double Feature was so perfect being Friday the 13th and being able to bring back the 1980 classic Friday the 13th!
Klein met Oman shortly after she accepted the position of Theatre Manager in April 2014.
After the movie he was attending he introduced himself and we chatted. Immediately she learned of his huge passion for horror films.
"The first fund raiser we did was presentation of Dead Prairies Productions' Redneck Betties film. I love promotions, spoke with Gull Lakes Fire Chief Gibson, asked if the girls could meet at the firehall and if the Chief would bring them downtown on the back of our fire truck," Klein recalls. "In front of the theatre we had a hot dog and a coke in old school glass bottles; the street in front of the theatre blocked off for skating demonstrations before the movie. A fun time for everyone including the Betties as they never rode on the top of a fire truck before. Our crowd was not large but it created that fire that we needed to do another promotion  Since then we have had a total of three double horror features. Devon is so knowledgeable in regards to horror movies and has a love for the classics on the big screen.
Double features included classic Halloween (Halloween party night); in the early spring The Exorcist and of course this last one.
"The ironic part is Devon loves horror films and I am terrified to watch them," she says with a laugh. "Promotional-wise Devon and I make a good team. Our ideas are non stop ..we do not "just" have a Double Feature we make it something special and fun so our theatre friends will remember that night. Would I do this again? We are already making plans for another Double Feature."
Oman's generosity didn't end there. Dead Prairie Productions is known for its generosity with the SPCA. This continued this past weekend as Oman drove people who had been celebrating too much and was collecting tips and donated all of that to the SPCA which amounted to $120.

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Ryan Dahlman

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