Wayne Theatre opens with ribbon cutting


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — The Wayne Theatre officially opened to the public this past weekend. Before the first showing of a movie to the public in about a decade the Darke County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the monumental occasion.

Rachel Neal, chamber president, explained she remembered coming to the theatre as child. “When I heard this project was happening. It was a sense of okay, this is a really neat thing. Greenville is already a destination and being able to have an anchor and a special place to come, a beautiful location. Clearly, look at the details that have gone into fixing this up.” She thanked the Jones family for their contributions to the community.

Mike Jones thanked everyone for coming and said, “I would like to thank the City of Greenville, the mayor, upcoming mayor, Ryan Delk, all of the city workers, by the way I don’t think they get enough thanks for all the Christmas lights they’re doing up here.” He also thanked everyone that had a hand in helping complete the project. He expressed said he and his family are “all about community.” He noted that he wants this community to be special for his 20 grandchildren.

“When we got this, the front wheel of my scooter fell into the floor and I though, hmmm, this might be a problem. Then my back two wheels fell in to,” he said. He knew there would need to be a lot of work completed on the building.

Jones and his son Daniel agreed there was a lot of work needed to get the building ready. “I knew I needed to replace the floor. We ended up replacing the roof, the floor, the floor joist, the main supports under the floor joists. Basically all you have left is the brick walls and the tile when you first walk in is original to 1921 when they put it in.”

Daniel said when they opened the door, it was a nightmare. When they looked in the basement, they realized there was a lot of termite damage. “There were millions of them,” he said. He thought they might be able to keep about one out of 400 floor joists in the building. They ended up keeping none.

Jones, who had run the projector at the State Theatre when he was in high school, wanted to make sure everything they put into the new Wayne Theatre was top of the line. “We have the best popcorn in the state. I don’t know how you can compete against that,” he said. He believes the better the Wayne Theatre does, the better the other businesses downtown will do.

Not only does Jones want to do first-run movies, he would eventually like to branch out and do other things at that location. “I want to make this a community place for everybody,” he said.

Daniel said, “We look forward to serving you guys and whatever we can do to help make this a better Broadway, Main Street and Darke County.”

“It’s easy to see what a great family that we have in our city,” said Mayor Steve Willman. he addressed the Jones family and said, “They (the community) believe in you in making our community great.” To honor Mike and his wife Sherri Jones, Mayor Willman announced the city will install a new street sign on the block of Fifth Street adjacent to the theatre declaring it as Mike and Sherri Jones Way.

For more information about Wayne Theatre, visit www.thewaynetheatre.com.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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