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Lincoln Theatre a coming attraction in Troy

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | October 15, 2021 7:00 AM

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Josh Moore holds a reel of film in the projector room at the Lincoln Theatre. Thanks to community donations, Josh and Tina Moore were able to purchase a digital projector and spruce up the single screen cinema. (Will Langhorne/The Western News)

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Josh andTina Moore are planning to reopen the Lincoln Theatre in Troy for regular screenings in November. Thanks to community donations, the pair were able to purchase a digital projector and spruce up the single screen cinema. (Will Langhorne/The Western News)

Following a roughly six-year hiatus, Lincoln Theatre is scheduled to reopen next month, bringing the old school, big-screen experience back to Troy.

Owners Josh and Tina Moore shuttered the theater for regular screenings in about 2015 after their film projector became obsolete. Thanks to a series of community donations and a $40,000 gift from the Troy United Methodist Church, the Moores have gone digital and are busy sprucing up the Kootenai Avenue single-screen cinema.

“It was just amazing, a real tear jerker,” said Josh Moore of the community support the theater received in recent months.

When the Moores went before Troy City Council in September to renew their business license, local officials cheered the coming reopening and shared memories that centered around the theater.

“That used to be one of the best hangouts when I was a kid,” said City Councilor Chuck Ekstedt.

While renovations are progressing smoothly, the Moores still have work to do before opening day. The theater has seen use during the closure — the Moores have hosted birthday parties and rented out the space for special occasions — but the cinema is not ready to accommodate regular audiences.

As of Oct. 8, parts of the new digital projector were still en route. Old film reels and sprockets cluttered the projector room. Maintenance work on the heating system and minor redecorations were on the docket.

Some of the donors have asked for a Nov. 1 opening day, but Josh Moore said the first screening might come later in the month.

“I’m hoping to have it open by Thanksgiving, for the holidays,” he said. “I really appreciate the donations — gosh you don’t even know — but at the same time there’s so much more to do than just put a projector in.”

Moviegoers will be able to enjoy concessions when the theater reopens, but the Moores said they were not ready to begin serving food in the adjoining Preview Cafe.

The theater’s screening schedule remains up in the air. Prior to closing, Josh Moore said the Lincoln Theatre usually hosted one movie a week and held multiple screenings on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays.

While retrofitting the cinema with a digital projector may be a challenge, Josh Moore said the change would simplify the screening process. Before, he had to assemble each movie by painstakingly taping reels of film together. Then he had to wind the film through a series of pulleys, into the projector and back onto a blank reel. If he fed the film into the projector the wrong way, the sound wouldn’t work and the movie would play backwards.

With a digital projector, Josh Moore expected he would have to do little more than insert a disk and press a few buttons.

With opening day still far out, Josh Moore was uncertain of what movie the Lincoln Theatre might screen first. He plans to limit the theater’s offerings to G, PG, PG-13 and soft R movies.

“We’re just trying to keep it family-friendly,” he said.