Special Features Section

Jewell County Record

and The Superior Express Jewell County News section


Board of directors picked for Jewell County Cinema, Inc.

Annual Fun Day was Saturday at Lovewell State Park



Board of directors picked for Jewell County Cinema, Inc.
As advertised in last week's paper, the Ute Theater in Mankato is now a tax exempt, nonprofit organization. A corporation has been formed and it will be known as Jewell County Cinema, Inc.
"The nice thing about becoming a nonprofit organization is donations given to Jewell County Cinema, Inc., can now be taken off the donors' taxes. All charitable contributions are tax deductible and this will be for all Ute Theater donations and fundraisers," said Jeanne Bleecker.
Monday evening a meeting was held at the Mankato Christian Church to select board members. Board of directors are: serving one year terms, Jill Klos, Jeanne Bleecker, Belinda Jeffery; serving two year terms, Janis McDill, Judy Dunn, Chris Klos, Phyllis Christie; serving three year terms, Kristen Underwood, Lisa Good heart, Sarah Ortman, Thadd Hinkle.
Officers are Chris Klos, president; Kristen Underwood, vice president; Jeanne Bleecker, secretary; Lisa Goodheart, assistant secretary; Janis McDill, treasurer.
The first Monday of each month the Ute Theater-Jewell County Cinema Inc. board members and directors meet at the Christian Church in Mankato. Anyone is welcome to attend and encouraged to become involved with Jewell County Cinema Inc.
The Ute Theater has had many helpers come and go in its operation throughout the years, with some remaining for several years.
Carol Wakefield began working in the concession stand of the Ute Theater in 1964 and worked there throughout her high school years. Carol quit for a while when she attended college then returning to Mankato went to work in the ticket booth at the theater for one night a week. After the fire at the theater and it had been rebuilt she went back to helping at the theater as a volunteer. Carol still volunteers one night a month at the Ute.
"I started out working with my sister, Barbara, who actually had the job. My husband, Raymond, ran the projector on Friday night and this is when Raymond and I started dating. Throughout the years most of the time I worked Friday night in the concession," said Carol.
Carol also worked with many different community people who worked the ticket booth. When Carol started working, Finley and Dorothy Munro were selling tickets. They were followed by Charlie and Pauline Noble and then Max and Leann Liby, who were followed by Betty and Pooch Tyrell.
Thadd Hinkle is another one of those long time volunteers. Thadd has worked at the Ute Theater just as long as he has been a pastor at the Christian Church in Mankato, more than 30 years. Before the theater raised the funds to purchase a digital projector, Thadd was in charge of getting the films ready for showing and also after the movie ran Thadd had to dismantle and have them ready to send off first thing Monday morning.
"It usually took two hours to put the movie together and about half that time to get the movie apart. I was trained to run the projector by Robert Wakefield," said Thadd.
Another aspect of having the new projector, the movies that are offered are more current films. It use to be four or five months after a movie was released before the Ute could get it to show, and not the movies shown as usually first or second week releases.
"The Theater also has a new sound system which has helped with the movies. With the addition of the new projector, newer released and all the improvements that have been attendance is now more steady," said Thadd.
"Almost all the movies that were up for Oscars this year I saw at the Ute," said Jeanne Bleecker.
All movies still start at 7:30 p.m. and are shown Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The theater is still run by all volunteers, who are mostly all adults now. Jill Klos is in charge of scheduling workers to run the concessions and ticket sales and this is usually set up a month in advance. Some of the organizations that have helped in the past are FBLA, NHS, FCCLA, and Mankato Eager Beavers 4-H and their parents.
In the near future, fundraisers will have to be held for the purchase of a cooling system. Also the committee is looking at remodeling the concession and bathroom area. Designs have been drawn up for this project.
"In the projector room up stairs the temperature must be maintained at no hotter than 80 degrees so we need to get a cooling system in place," said Thadd.
Every year the Ute has sold fireworks over the 4th of July holiday to raise money for the operation of the Ute. This year they did not.
"Each year it is hard to find people that will man the stand and the stand its self is shot. This year we decided to not operate a fireworks stand and instead sold ice cream during the Threshing Bee and that went over well so we may not have a fireworks stand in the future," said Thadd. M & M Fireworks donated a portion of their sales to the Ute Theater this year.
Aug. 15 will be the annual Ute Theater ice cream social and benefit that is held at the Rock Hills Jr-Sr High School, with the serving of 12 or 13 different kinds of ice cream and a assortment of baked goods starting at 6:30 p.m.
After being closed during the summer months, the Ute Theater will be reopening its doors showing the first movie of the fall on Aug. 21.

Annual Fun Day was Saturday at Lovewell State Park
Lovewell State Park held its annual Fun Day Saturday.
Nine participants registered in the 5K ands 10K predict run-walk. In the 5K predict run 16 and older division, Rita and Greg Shuck, of Edgar placed 1st and 2nd respectively. In the 5K predict 15 and younger division, Payton and Sammy Murray of Blair placed 1st and 2nd respectively. There were five participants in the 10K run-walk predict event. Jan Murray of Nelson earned 1st place, Kendra Morris of Superior came in 2nd place and Crystal Behrends of Superior earned 3rd place. 
The co-ed mud volleyball tournament had a full bracket of 10 teams. First place team went to the "Mud Dogs" of Trumbull, captained by Matt Russell. Second place was earned by The Skocny team of Cuba, captained by Jeri Skocny. Third place this year was the "Gentlemen and Scholars" team of Trumbull, captained by Gregg Lubken. 
A sand pile treasure hunt event was held for children 10 and younger at the Pioneer day use area.  Children had a chance to dig in the sand to see how many coins they could find.
The rock-paper-scissors tournament had 24 participants, of all ages. This year's champion was Ryan Meyer of Daykin.

To go to the top of the page and choose another story, click here.