Vaska Theatre celebrates 70 years

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -A legendary theatre is celebrating 70 years this weekend.

They're having a shadow casting of "Little Shop of Horrors." They're also bringing in the "Carpenters Once More."
And on Sunday, they're showing "The Lawton Story, or, Prince of Peace," a movie that was filmed in the Holy City of the Wichitas in 1949. '
The owner says although 70 years have passed, he hopes this is just the beginning.

Built on a dirt road in 1948, The Vaska Theatre still stands tall on the corner of Northwest 19th Street and Ferris many years later.

"70 years is something to be proud of," said
Owner and operator, Justin Hackney.

Hackney first started working for the Vaska in 2003.

"It means a lot to myself," said Hackney. "It's why I do it. I care about the place. I want the place to come back to it's glory instead of just some discount theatre."

Over the years, he's put a lot of work into renovations.

"We've done a lot and we're still doing more," said Hackney. "We've re-done the floors. We've repainted, re-patted seats, we've hung curtains. We've done a lot."

His favorite part is seeing old pictures and hearing memories from people who've been there.

"It's always fun to hear other peoples stories about the place," said Hackney. "Stories from when they were growing up or memories of their first time coming or certain times coming."

Hackney hopes locals come out this weekend to celebrate the past 70 years and support the years to come for the Vaska.

"Try something new," said Hackney. "If you've never seen a shadow casting, check it out. Try out the standup comedy. It's definitely worth it. Todd Justice has won several awards. It's a good show."

For tickets or more information about all of the events happening this weekend, you can check out the Vaska's Facebook page.

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