Warren Theatres founder Bill Warren got emotional today when he talked about the EF5 tornado that struck his Moore movie theater Monday with 150 to 200 people inside it. He watched the tornado score a direct hit on the theater from his home base in Kansas via his Internet security cameras, reports NewsOK video host Dave Morris.
The theater’s partially repaired marquee now bears the slogan “God Bless Moore.”
“Today I had my architects and three structural engineers in town. They’ve gone through the building; structurally, it’s very sound. There’s going to be half a million to a million dollars in damage, but it’s all on the exterior of the building. Other than a couple of water leaks, there’s no damage on the interior. We do plan to open next Wednesday to the public. And the restoration to the outside is ongoing,” he said.
“We feel very fortunate that the building’s still standing.”
After the tornado tore through Moore on Monday, I spoke to Jill Gottschalk, an assistant in Warren Theatres’ corporate office in Wichita, Kan., who said there were no reports of injuries to theater employees or patrons.
“Obviously, we are just in a loss of words right now,” she said, with obvious emotion in her voice. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone … Anything any of us can do here we’re definitely in gear to go do it.”
Warren confirmed that no patrons or employees were injured in the tornado; in fact, he said the company has received emails from people who said they were driving on Interstate 35 as the twister approached and sought shelter in the theater, safely riding out the storm inside.
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