Local family buys OK Theater

By Katy Nesbitt, The Observer November 01, 2013 12:11 pm

ENTERPRISE — Main Street’s OK Theater is set to reopen soon.

Darrell and Christi Brann closed on the historic building Wednesday morning. The theater closed last September, but the former owners allowed the Branns to host one more show a couple months after that when they brought in the Infamous Stringdusters, a bluegrass band based in Charlotte, Va., that played a sold out show. Since then, the theater has been darkened, waiting for new owners to bring it back to life.

“This summer, we started looking at it from another angle,” Darrell Brann said. “Maybe we could get it to a price where it would actually work.”

Brann said initially they are going to rent out the theater for school events and performing art shows while renovating as they can afford.

“I’d love to see theater incorporated with local events like the Bowlby Bash and bring back the Missoula Theater,” Brann said. “I think it’s the best performance venue in this county.”

Of course, movies are on the menu, and eventually Brann would like to upgrade the system to be fully digital.

Brann is a self-described jack of all trades. Following high school, he had a series of construction jobs running everything from a front-end loader to a planer. After settling in Wallowa County, he started his own business remodeling and building homes, skills that will come in handy as he and his family get set to restore the theater.

“We are thrilled for the same reason everyone else is,” Sara Miller of the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District said. “There’s a lot of excitement in the community about what the Branns will bring to the theater with their music background.”

To buy the theater, the Branns were able to secure loans from Community Bank and the NEOEDD.

The NEOEDD offers two revolving loans to help businesses get the financing they need instead of a conventional loan or in addition to one, Miller said.

Brann said the theater is a place where the community can come together.

“I see the family as a part of the community. We want to invest in the town and grow and be a part of Enterprise,” Brann said.