The Ute Theatre in Saguache is back after three years and major renovations with a new mission: “to uplift, transform and engage.”
It’s a positive mission statement, owner Heidi Wong said, and she wants the theater to bring the community together.
Wong purchased the theater last August and got to work on renovations. She said the goal of the renovations was to remove safety hazards, clean up the space and give the theater a fresh look.
The first order of business was to remove a massive coal boiler that took up a lot of space and had asbestos wrapped around it, Wong said, although she did choose to keep the door and coal hopper.
She also removed about 80 non-original movie theater seats that had been damaged, leaving the theater with about 100 original cast-iron seats and a lot of leg room.
Rounding out the renovations, the lobby was repainted and new flooring was installed throughout the theater.
The theater will host live theater events including community theater, music and hopefully fun events such as puppetry and ventriloquism, Wong said.
It will also show movies such as documentaries and foreign films. Wong said it will not compete with the nearby Cozy Castle, which shows first-run movies.
She said she is trying to book acts that fit in with the theater’s new mission.
A grand reopening, which will feature Americana band The River Arkansas and the two-woman musical “Money Talks: But What the Hell Is It Saying?,” is planned for June 21, 22 and 23.
The reopening coincides with the Saguache Art Walk.
“Money Talks” is an autobiographical musical about two women trying to write a Broadway show, Wong said, and is about self-worth as compared to net worth. Wong said the show is welcoming, profound and amusing.
Wong said she’s really excited about the reopening.
“It’s going to be a really good show,” she said.