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Tile cutter Scott Banta cuts rare antique Vitrolite panels for the front of the Morris Theatre.  Vitrolite is pigmented glass popular in 1940 when the Morris Theatre was built.  Theater volunteers found a vitrolite specialist in St. Louis, Missouri, who supplied color-matched panels salvaged from buildings across the country.

Morris Theatre gets a facelift

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Morris Theatre gets a facelift
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

MORRIS - The Morris Movie Theatre recently received a facade facelift with salvaged glass block tiles from around the country.

Part of the theatre facade is made of rare, antique Vitrolite panels. Vitrolite is pigmented glass that was popular in 1940 when the Morris Theatre was built. Theatre volunteers found a Vitrolite specialist in St. Louis, Mo., who supplied color-matched panels salvaged from buildings across the country.

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Last month, tile cutter Scott Banta (below) helped cut the rare panels and installed them on the front of the Theatre.

Earlier this summer, about 20 clear glass blocks on the main facade were also replaced by volunteers Scott Kelly (right, top) and Banta (right, bottom).

The particular style of glass block turned out to be rare, and it took months of looking on Craigslist to find blocks that matched. A young couple living on a former dairy farm near Des Moines, Iowa, salvaged some from a demolished milk house. They packed the blocks in Styrofoam coolers and shipped them to Morris.

The theatre will also be getting an internal upgrade this month. On Monday, Oct. 22 and Tuesday, Oct. 23, the theatre will be making the transition to a digital projector system.

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Kim Ukura
Kim Ukura has served as the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune since August 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2008 with degrees in English and journalism. She earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2010. Prior to returning to Morris to work at the Sun Tribune, she worked in trade publishing. She has been recognized by the Minnesota Newspaper Association for both business and public affairs reporting. 
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