West Bend theatre bounces back after 'roller coaster' year

A historic theatre in West Bend was restored but opened in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic -- missing those movie-goers now more than ever. 

“It was tough this summer -- was really tough,” said Jeff Potts, executive director of "The Bend." “Saving this building and restoring it -- and we did that. We achieved that goal. We just reopened the worst weekend anybody could have picked in this century.”

The old-time staple reopened after being restored for just a day before the COVID-19 lockdown hit and shut them back down.

“This has been a complete roller coaster of emotions,” Potts said.

After the "Safer-at-Home" order was lifted, the stage was set yet again, but of course, it wasn't the opening scene originally imagined. 

“We skip every other row," said Potts. "We skip aisle seats."

"The Bend"  looks similar to what it did in 1929, with artwork again on the walls, but there's a top-notch sound system for concerts and movies. 

“The color palettes they used would have been from 1929," said Potts. "Everything looks as it would opening night 1929." 

But the theatre is still missing a big piece of technology. 

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“One of the areas we came up a little short on was the lighting counsel to control all our theatrical lighting,” Potts said.

So they partnered with the West Bend Theatre Company with a goal of raising $4,000 this holiday season for just that, with many looking forward to the final act — packed seats. 

If you want to donate to the fundraiser — CLICK HERE.