Storefront Theater a work of art

You've no doubt seen drive-in theaters, but a theater in Lyons is taking going to the movies to a whole new level.

We went to Lyons to find out more about the "Storefront Theater." It started out as an art project. "They hired an artist from MIT," local resident Bill Hedges said. "After talking to residents, it was decided that people wanted a theater. He found a vacant building, which was really a facade. He thought he could design it into a theater."

The way this theater works is the whole front of the building is fake, and it pulls down hydraulically. It's hinged at the bottom, and rests on a canopy that looks like a storefront awning. That forms the floor of it, and then bleachers can roll out and people can watch movies on main street. The screen itself it pulled up by a tractor or a car, and it sits in the street, while the audience sits in the bleacers where the old building used to be. "This was really a community project," Hedges said. Several businesses and individuals worked to make the project a reality. Turns out, the artist who built it got an architectural award in London for it.

Hedges has his own tourism attraction on main street in Lyons. He operates "Cosmic Films Studio" next door to the Storefront Theater. "I started it as a personal movie studio, where I could make movies," Hedges said. "I film a series there called 'Cosmic Cat', which is a series of shorts." The studio is located in what used to be the old Lyons movie theater. Hedges has tried to renovate the interior back to the time when the theater was in operation. "When I bought it, I thought it would be fun to restore it back to the way it used to be. Right now the projection room is just like it was back in 1947."

If you'd like to know more about Lyons and the Storefront Theater, check out Lyons Storefront Theater on Facebook.