Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 29, 2013

Warren Theatre reopening today

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

MOORE — Warren Theatre, damaged in the May 20 tornado, will reopen today for business, owner Bill Warren said Tuesday.

The theater has passed health department and other required checks, and the equipment has been up and running over the past two days as staff made sure everything was ready to go. The theater complex sustained $500,000 to $1 million in damages but is structurally sound, Warren said.

Warren’s construction team has been on the site for a week. An engineer inspected the theater and found no structural damage. All damage is exterior, Warren said. The roof has been sealed and the IMAX sign was secured as a public safety measure.

“Safety’s the key thing,” Warren said. “I think it’s important to try to get back up and get things back to normalcy as soon as possible for the citizens of Moore.

The IMAX at Moore is the No. 1 grossing IMAX in America and Canada, and the Warren Theatre “outgrosses any theater in a 10-state area,” Warren said during a March interview.

Nearby Freddy’s Frozen Custard was spared during the EF-5 tornado on May 20. Freddy’s fed first responders and volunteers at the 1525 S. I-35 Service Road location on Sunday as a gesture of support.

“The devastation in Moore is catastrophic and we feel so fortunate to have survived the storm without any injuries to our staff or guests inside the restaurant. Our building received only minor damage and utilities are now back on,” said franchisee Bob Rasberry, who owns nine locations in the Oklahoma City area.

Rasberry called the free food a “small gesture” compared to the overwhelming loss many experienced.

Freddy’s in Moore reopened for regular business Monday morning. The site was closed following the storm because of utility outages and restricted access in the area.