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Lynette arrived in Homer in 1976 and built a cabin 11 miles out East End Road. About 10 years ago she started saying, “Let’s buy the funky old theatre and fix it up.  We can show great movies in a much nicer setting!”  Then, the “Homer Family Theatre “ had seat-backs of curved  plywood and more duct tape than fabric on the cushions, and it flooded up to about 2 feet of water in any really good rain.

It came on the market in late 2002 and we didn’t even hesitate.  I met with then owner Bob Sedlock and we came to an agreement on price and terms and then shook hands.  That was the deal.  Within a month, we had purchased some 2-year old green like-new seats from a multiplex in California, put them in a steel container and shipped the whole thing to Homer.  Akati Kalugin pulled together a crew and at 11:00 PM on a Thursday night we pulled the old chairs, laid out the position of the new seats and drilled holes in the concrete floor to secure them in place. We were ready for showtime the next day.   It was Lynette’s idea to put in several sofas and they remain the most popular of the 210 seats.

We made new counter tops and re-configured the lobby to allow more space to get people in out of the cold.  We then created the western wooden façade and strapped it to the front of the old steel building.  The idea was to have the theatre look as if it were built when Homer Pennock first arrived here in 1896.  It was modeled after photos of the western facades of Nome at the turn of last century.  We added speakers in the bathrooms so you don’t have to miss the story if you get up from your seat.  When we changed the name from Homer Family Theatre to Homer Theatre, the first sign we put up on the building read ‘Teatro Homero”, the name of the theatre in Russian.  It was an homage and welcome to our Russian friends and neighbors.

We started the now well regarded (and lots of fun) Homer Documentary Film Festival in 2003 with 4 movies.  We have now expanded the line-up to the “8 Best Docs in the World” and we have shown the eventual Oscar winner every year.  Throughout the year, we have numerous fund-raisers for local non-profits on Friday nights.  We are showing the Metropolitan Opera live for the third year and we continue to see the theatre as a community and cultural resource.  In September of 2011, we invested in Digital Cinema/3D and made the transition from 35mm to Digital, paving the way for much more alternative programming to bring to our customers. 

It is fun being in the ‘Movie Business’ and we are lucky to have the talented and dedicated managers and staff that make it a treat to come to the best flat screen within 225 miles.  “See you at the Movies.”

Lynette and Jamie Sutton

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