Posted: Wednesday, 22 May 2013 2:46PM
$500,000 Damage at Warren Theatre in OK
WICHITA - Bill Warren tells the Wichita Business Journal he can’t decide if it was paranoia or foresight that led him to build his Warren Theatres cineplex in Moore, Okla., from concrete and reinforced steel, but either way the decision paid off.
Warren’s theater there largely withstood an EF-5 tornado that leveled surrounding buildings in piles of rubble. The theater sustained mostly cosmetic damage, mainly to the large marquee on the front of the building. The 200 or so people in the theater at the time of Monday’s storm were unharmed.
“The most important part is no one got hurt in our theater,” Warren says.
Though the damage is mostly cosmetic, repairing it still comes at a significant cost — around $500,000, Warren estimates.
Warren tells me that a crew of about 40 people have been on site this week assessing the damage to the theater and repairing roof and sign damage. There were a few water leaks that had to be repaired.
So far, Warren says, it appears the structural integrity of the building wasn’t affected by the storm.
Warren hopes to be able to reopen the theater this week, possibly by Friday. He says much of when the theater will reopen hinges on the availability of electricity in the Moore area.
Warren opened his Moore theater in 2005 and added an IMAX theater two years ago.
Warren says the theater sits on a piece of property where a building was leveled during the May 1999 tornado in Moore.
Not wanting the theater to share a similar fate, Warren decided to go with concrete and reinforced steel when he built in Moore.
Now, such buildings are his design standard.
Wichita Business Journal