One step closer

The Webster Theater is one step closer to opening.

Officials with Help Entertain and Restore Organization, HERO, announced Wednesday that $133,000 has been raised to Save the Webster Theater. Phase one needed $22,500 in order to purchase the building. Phase two needed $80,000 to purchase the projector, video and sound equipment. The building is now owned by the nonprofit group HERO and the equipment will be purchased after all the options are reviewed and the best company to purchase from is chosen.

There is now an additional $90,000 towards phase three to raise. Capital improvements are needed: the marquee needs to be fixed, interior lobby walls painted, the roof repaired or replaced, and the seats professionally cleaned. There will be concession equipment needs, carpet cleaning and operating costs, according to HERO board members.

The HERO board includes Jeff Pingel, Tyler Abens, Cindy Scheiber, Deb Brown, Zachery Chizek, Holly Stroner, Jerry Kloberdanz, Kay Ross, Jacob Pulis and Libby Francisco. HERO officials said there is room for one more board member. Board officers will be determined at their next meeting on May 27. Opportunities to participate on various committees, including fundraising, cleaning, party planning, human resources and more remain open to volunteers.

HERO began raising money to reopen the Webster Theater about five months ago. With the money raised in that timespan, Pingel said the community has donated about $1,000 a day toward their efforts.

“That says a lot about this town and how they support this cause. We are very excited about seeing movies in the fall,” Pingel said.

HERO is projecting an early September opening for the theater. There have been 182 seats sold as of April 30. Many graduated classes are contributing and HERO anticipates selling the seats out. Those interested in purchasing one can go online to or stop by the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce Office at 628 2nd Street for more information.

The next fundraiser will be held on May 10 from 11 to 1 p.m. at Fareway in Webster City. HERO will be selling pork burgers, chips and a drink for $6 in the parking lot. Proceeds will go to their Save the Webster project.

Community members can now purchase a bottomless bucket to be used for one year from the date the theater opens. It will be used for popcorn and those who purchase one can use it every time they come to a movie. There are only 70 buckets available and the cost is $60 per bucket. Stop by Seneca Street Saloon or the Chamber office to purchase a bucket. Buyers can take it with them or let HERO hold it until the theater opens and buyers will receive it when they see their first movie. For more information, call Kay Ross at (515) 832-6494 or the Chamber at (515) 832-2564.