(BELLEVILLE, Kan.)—One of the most iconic images of Belleville, Kansas is the Blair Theater, a spot that has been showing movies since the late 1920's.
However, it hasn't always been easy for the movie theater to keep its doors open. In fact, local folks have taken it upon themselves to keep it up and running.
For several decades the Blair Theater was the place to go and the thing to do around Belleville. That was until the mid-1990's when management shut down the theater and gutted it.
Folks around town began to speak up, they wanted their movie theater back. "So many people said that we had so far to go, it's not going to happen", says executive director of the Blair Theater Jenny Pachta.
In 2008 the movie theater was renovated and reopened. The funding came from state tax credits. As for help around the theater, it's all free. Everyone who works at the Blair Theater is a volunteer. They say they do it because they love their local landmark. "That just says the world about our community and what they think of our theater", adds Pachta.
When the Blair Theater got its second chance the town wanted to make a big splash by installing a digital 3-D projector, at the time it was only the third one of its kind in the entire state.
The Blair Theater continues to bring in people from all over Republic County and the volunteers say theyare going to keep it that way. The balcony at the theater is still being finished. And the theater is not just for movies, theatergoers enjoy live acts each month.