BAKER CITY

BAKER CITY

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Residents are once again able to watch their big-screen heroes at the historic Eltrym Theater. After purchasing the barely operational theater and restoring the original 1940s Art Deco features in 1997, owner Rudyard Coltman was disappointed when a city council debate closed the town’s only movie theater in August 2006. Seems his $500,000 in repairs were not enough for the new building inspector, who felt the historic structure should have more fire safety features such as sprinklers. The controversy, which began in 2004, settled in court in March. According to Coltman, the historic building does not require sprinklers although it does have new wiring, emergency lighting and wheelchair ramps at the back exits. “Not only is this a landmark but it’s probably the most important recreational business in town,” he says. Originally slated to be the Myrtle Theater, the name was changed to Eltrym, or Myrtle spelled backwards, because the original owner’s wife did not want to see her name on a building.