A Magical Evening. With Chill.

Last night, for the first time in three decades, a movie was presented in the 1900 theater. The turnout was strong, with almost sixty people. We had to run out and get more seats!


The ruins of the theater were artfully lighted, while most of the interior…


…was lighted by a kazillion laser stars, and all in motion. The effect was mesmerizing.


We also strung LED lights up the long structural supports. This proved helpful in keeping people from walking into them! No injuries were reported last night!


A merry time was had by all, including Marilyn McComber, the president of the Strong City Preservation Alliance, and…


…Jaque Schmidt, the Secretary of the Alliance.


Most of these images were taken by Gwen Shirkey. Thanks, Gwen!


Before the show, Dorothy Doolittle stepped into the star-filled shell of the building. Dorothy, and her late husband, Dudley, owned the building for four decades. Last night, she said that she had not planned to attend as it would have been too sad seeing the building in a ruined state. But, as her eyes scanned the huge interior of the building, twinkling magically, and filled with people and music, she smiled and said that she felt joyful, and knew that her husband was looking down from above, also smiling.


A huge amount of work went into making last night happen, and all of it by volunteers. A special thanks to Scott Wiltse, who stepped in at the last minute (Scott! We neeeeeeeed you!!!!!!!!) to do the vital electrical work.

Thanks also to:

  • Justin Garr
  • Roland Hainey
  • Kay Lauer
  • Elena Lincoln
  • Ross MacTaggart
  • Marilyn McComber
  • Jacque Schmidt
  • Tom Thompson


The city was also supportive, and at no cost to the Alliance installed an electrical meter, as well as other acts of generosity.

Above all, thanks to the many people who braved the chill to attend a movie!

Last night was intended as the first of such nights, and the 1900 theater hopes to show movies again in the spring, summer, fall, and next holiday season! And perhaps even some musical events!




  1. Sandra Lee on December 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

    What a Wonderful event! I love that Dorothy Doolittle came & enjoyed being in the theatre! How fun!

    • Ross on December 23, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      Agreed, Sandra!

      I was quite moved listening to Dorothy, and teared up!

  2. Marilyn McComber on December 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Ross, a big thank you for keeping this blog updated and so interesting. I must say that the alliance is blessed with many active volunteers that continue to step up and do what is needed with a smile on their face. Scott…..what would we have done without all of your electrical work…..obviously been in the dark!! It has been just magical to see the theater come alive again and filled with people enjoying a movie. May each and everyone of you reading this have a joyful Christmas and a blessed New Year.

    Peace be with you and yours,

  3. Scott Wiltse on December 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Thanks to all of you, from near and far, that came out to support the Movie Night at the Strong City Theater.

    Also a thanks to all the volunteers that helped setup and get things ready. It was great to eat a bag of fresh popcorn and snag some snacks and wonderful hot cocoa while watching the great holiday movie.

    To our supporter — well, a “vocal supporter” — who is ever so critical and judgemental on all being done, my opinion is this: if you wish the sign completed with expedited effort and speed then open your wallet, dig deep, and remove the thousands of dollars needed and this project will be completed. Then all who drive by will see the neon all aglow, and you will be forever known for your contribution to the theater project and the Neon Sign.

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