Possible 80-100 mph winds caused extensive damage to an Edmond theater working to reopen as quickly as possible, a spokeswoman said.
On Aug. 10, at about 12:30 a.m., winds originally estimated to be about 70 mph by the National Weather Service blew through the city, uprooting hundreds of trees, damaging power lines and peeling the roof off KickingBird Cinema, located in the KickingBird Square shopping center at Danforth and Bryant.
When the storm hit, KickingBird Cinema Projection Manager Jeremy Weigel and a co-worker were inside the building updating speakers and projectors. Weigel said they heard the storm approaching, went outside and saw the lightning show and rain.
Their curiosity satisfied, they went back inside. Some 15-20 minutes later, Weigel heard a rumbling on the roof. He went into the lobby and saw some debris.
“My first thought was tornado,” he said. “But I wasn’t hearing sirens.”
KickingBird Cinema spokeswoman Monica McCain said she has heard several estimates of winds, one at 80 mph and another at 100 mph.
Damage estimates are still being tabulated, but the roof alone will cost about $100,000 to repair, McCain said. Two brand new digital projectors, worth more than $70,000 apiece, also will have to be replaced.
Other items suffering varying degrees of damage include theater screens, the air conditioning system, the electrical system, ceiling tiles, carpet and theater chairs, McCain said.
McCain said the quality of the theater experience will be enhanced even more upon reopening with all digital technology in all theaters. Movie-goers will see and hear the highest quality video and sound in both 3D and non-3D movies, she said.
Customers already had mentioned that they like to stay local and were excited about what they have already seen in the theaters that had been completed before the storm, including the installation of the digital projectors, McCain said.
“We are very positive on the economy in Edmond and the state and are grateful for everyone’s patience as we work diligently to re-open as soon as possible,” she said.
With a lot of hard work and a little luck the theater might be able to have a limited opening within the next 30 days and a grand re-opening in six weeks, McCain said.
The theater was last remodeled in 2004.
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