Cast a vote for Enterprise’s OK Theatre

By Observer editorial June 08, 2011 04:20 pm
The OK Theatre in Enterprise is vying for a cash prize in a nationwide contest that would allow the theater’s owners to upgrade the facade of the historic building. And everyone in Northeast Oregon can help the OK achieve its goal. The OK has qualified as one of 100 finalists nationwide competing for grant money in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “This Place Matters’’ contest. Winners will be determined by which of the 100 places gets the most votes.

The OK Theatre enters the contest at an extreme disadvantage simply based on population. Enterprise and Wallowa County likely have one of the smallest populations to draw from among the 100 finalists.

So the OK and its sponsoring organization, the nonprofit group Greater Enterprise Main Streets, are trying to get the word out to all friends that their votes are needed. Only one vote per household or email address is allowed, however.

To vote, go to the OK Theatre website, www.theok.tk, and click on the link to vote. Each vote has to be registered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which will require you to sign up under your email address and will send you a password to use to log your vote. It only takes a minute and might help one of the mainstays of downtown Enterprise land a $25,000, $10,000 or $5,000 grant.

The OK Theatre and Greater Enterprise Main Streets jumped into the contest with the intent of, first, being one of the 100 finalists out of 265 applicants, and second, making a serious effort to win. Enterprise has rallied around the theater. About 250 people showed up for a photo shoot earlier this spring. The group photo was taken in front of the theater to accompany the application for This Place Matters. It’s pretty impressive.

The theater is 93 years old and is the oldest theater in use in the state. Under owners Bill and Melisa Bush, the business is making every effort to be a centerpiece for the community, both through the movies it shows and through special events. Helping it win a grant for facade improvement would be big for the whole community, and voting is easy.

Go online to www.theok.tk and cast a vote. The OK Theatre has a huge population disadvantage to overcome, so it needs everyone to enlist their family and friends to weigh in.