FOREST CITY - The Forest Theatre has been dark for more than 18 months but Mason Harms recently got a glimpse of light inside it.

"It was pretty cool to see something back on the screen," Harms said of recent test of newly installed digital projection equipment at the theater. Harms, the president of Forest City Economic Development, is also one of several members of a non-profit committee called Forest City Entertainment Inc. The committee bought the theater from former owner Gary Compston. The theater is being revamped in two phases including the installation of digital projection equipment. A second screen is planned for the second phase.

Harms said the hope is to open the theater in late August, but that depends on the pace of construction and delivery of still needed equipment and materials.

The digital equipment replaces reel to reel film equipment. In a test of equipment, a technician attached a small DVD device to show a portion of a movie on the sceen.

"We were watching ‘Despicable Me’ on the screen," Harms said. Some of the speakers had been installed, so Harms got a feel for the changes.

Other changes include a remodeled concessions area and restrooms.

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