Braxton Citizens' News, Community

Elk Theatre in Sutton under new management

Renovations already begun will continue

By Shirley Shuman

Elk Theater, now under the management of non-profit Elk River Action, already shows some of the improvements which David Petolicchio, vice president of the organization explained will continue. Under the new management, the theater had its first showing last weekend, and patrons saw a portion of the work which will continue.

Petolicchio noted that the non-profit organization is “basically in a partnership with the new owner of the building.”  Elk River Action leases the building. Their goals for the theater include maintaining an historic building, allowing the business to continue operating, and providing recreational opportunities for the citizenry.

David Bender, the organization’s operating executive director, has been managing the cleaning and the restoration of the building. In addition to painting, Bender has overseen setting off a small room for

”a micro-museum” of some of the movie production equipment stored in the building. That equipment, which Petolicchio estimates is “at least two decades old,” has been placed in display cases along with old, and according to Petolicchio, “very interesting,” movie posters.

Currently, the theater will be open Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and the organization plans to add more showings along with more renovations. They will show “Trolls” again for the upcoming weekend.

Asked about the non-profit which is operating the theater, Petolicchio provided information on the organization itself. Its mission, he said, “is the revitalization and economic development of Sutton, Braxton County, and the Elk River Valley—in that order.”  He added, “We’re doing it in stages, and right now we’re busy with Sutton.” He mentioned that the organization “has a huge list of projects [‘they are considering],” adding “We just began about two months ago and have been busy with paper work and getting the Board of Directors finalized.”

In addition to the regular Friday and Saturday night showings for now, Elk River Action “will be showing a couple of Christmas movies during Sutton’s Christmas Fest on December 9, Petolicchio  indicated.