One of the state’s historic theaters threw an epic party for its 100th birthday this weekend.
The OK Theater in Enterprise marked the occasion with a day-long street party, performance of an old-fashioned melodrama, and a community sing-along, and performances by New Orleans piano master Jon Cleary, Grammy-winning cowboy singer Dom Flemons, and Portland soul legend Ural Thomas.
Owner Darrell Brann, a full-time contractor with a passion for music, purchased the theater five years ago, and has expanded its profile by renovating and booking live music acts, along with local events. Brann says to him, the theater is about representing the community that makes Wallowa County important.
“From the time we bought it I loved that we could live in a small town,” Brann says. “There are many diverse opinions and views, and yet everybody seems to have a sense of community in this space.”
Brann won state grants that made improvements possible like an upgraded proscenium, by local wood artist Steve Arment. After a community dinner Friday night, a sold-out crowd packed the theater to see a performance of an old-time melodrama — complete with a mustache-twirling villain — and a sing-along.