KINSLEY Movie-goers again are filling a western Kansas theater that showed silent pictures accompanied by organ music when it was built in 1917.
The Palace Theater operated almost continuously until it closed at the end of 1998. In June 1999, residents formed the nonprofit Palace Assn. to buy the theater.
A new roof and sound system were added, and the building became a venue for concerts and classic films. But the theater didn't have a regular schedule of current movies, and more work remained.
Enter E-Team, short for Entertainment in Edwards County. The group of more than 70 volunteers many of them high school and junior high students spent the summer repainting the theater, installing new flooring in the concession area and refinishing 50 seats.
E-Team was formed to combat what the group considered a lack of entertainment in the area.
"The only place you could go was the bar," said Darnell Ganley, a co-chairwoman of the group.
E-Team looked into buying the Kinsley bowling alley, which is open only two days a week and mostly serves league teams, Ganley said. But members felt that the asking price was too high.
Working with the city, the E-Team found other areas to work on, including the Palace Theater.
Besides cleaning the Palace from top to bottom, the group also needed to raise money for the project, including $17,000 for a digital sound system.
The work culminated last week with the showing of the theater's first new release, "Men In Black II."