Curtains up on the classics at Wafford Theater

Wafford Theater offers individual seating for 30 people, a 14-foot by 7-foot screen and two 46-inch televisions. (Photos by Robert Herrington)

Wafford Theater offers individual seating for 30 people, a 14-foot by 7-foot screen and two 46-inch televisions. (Photos by Robert Herrington)

“Field of Dreams” taught us, “If you build it they will come.” Noblesville businessman Jim Wafford has built a 30 seat intimate theater in a vacant building that connects to his other businesses, Logan Street Signs & Banners and Noblesville Trophies, at 1744 S. 10th St.“I always had a dream to have a little theater where people can come and enjoy themselves,” Wafford said. “At the park, people would tell me they wish there was a place they could go and see old movies all the time.”

Wafford said the purpose of the theater was to raise funds for the Free Classic Movies in the Park series he puts on for the community.

This will be the third summer Wafford is presenting the classic movie series, which began during a conversation with Noblesville Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Brandon Bennett. During the discussion, Bennett told Wafford that the parks department budget had been cut and they would be showing fewer movies the next year.

“I saw a need for free family entertainment, and no one else is doing it,” said Wafford, who also shows films at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds during the winter. “I love classic movies. I’m kind of romantic. I just like the older dress. I wouldn’t mind living back there. There’s a lot of class.”

Before screening a film, Wafford must contact his representative to get licensing rights. Movies cost Wafford $200 to $400 each screening. To air “Casablanca” to 113 people in 2011, it cost Wafford $405.

Wafford Theater owner Jim Wafford

Wafford Theater owner Jim Wafford

“The more awards it won, the more expensive the movie is,” he explained. “Most people don’t realize you have to pay for movies.”

To pay for the licensing agreement, Wafford rearranged his advertising budget and has sought help from businesses to sponsor the film series. To lessen the amount coming out of his pocket, Wafford is using his theater to raise funds to support his free movie programs. Another way Wafford is trying to raise money is with a DVD recycling program. He is accepting donations of movies that he is reselling for $5 to $10.

“One hundred percent goes to support Movies in the Park,” he said.

Besides being a theater, the multi-use room is available to rent for meetings or clubs.

The theater’s chairs and risers can be removed or replaced with table and chairs depending on needs. Elizabeth Boase, a member of the Central Indiana Real Estate Investors Association, has already used the room for a meeting.

“A PowerPoint looks great up there,” she said of the theater’s giant screen. “It’s really good for teaching a small class.”

Wafford said hardcore gamers also can connect their preferred platform and play their favorite videos on the 14-foot by 7-foot screen. The theater also has two 46-inch televisions mounted on the sides of the screen.

Jim Wafford shows off titles available in his DVD recycling program. He is accepting donations of movies that he is reselling for $5 to $10

Jim Wafford shows off titles available in his DVD recycling program. He is accepting donations of movies that he is reselling for $5 to $10

“I hope to raise half of our funds by renting it out,” he said.

“I can’t wait to sit down and watch a good movie on it,” Gary Bartunek said.

Wafford Theater will show classic movies at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“We will offer more showings if the crowds come,” he said.

 

The Basics

Wafford Theater, 1744 S. 10th St., will show classic movies at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Cost is $3 with most concession items for $1. “We’re trying to keep concessions low and people’s spirits high,” owner Jim Wafford said.

Upcoming Schedule

Tuesday – Two Movie Tuesday with “Captain Scarface” (1953) and “The Racketeer” (1929)

Wednesday – Western Wednesday with “My Pal Trigger” (1946)

Thursday – “Cheers for Miss Bishop” (1941)

Friday – “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (1952)

Feb. 23 – Sinisterly Bad Theater Saturday with “Cat Women of the Moon” (1953) and “The Atomic Brain” (1963)

For more information and movie schedule, visit www.waffordtheater.com.

Robert Herrington

Managing editor of Current in Noblesville. A 1999 graduate of Noblesville High School, Herrington has been covering Noblesville and Hamilton County as a journalist since 2004. The military brat lived all over the east coast before calling Noblesville home since 1994. He and his wife, Maggie, live in the community with their baby daughter (and youngest Boston Red Sox fan), Caroline. From school board to common council meetings, First Friday events and summer concerts in the city parks, Herrington loves to attend and cover all that Noblesville has to offer.

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