Socorro celebrates theater’s reopening

Socorro residents line up to buy tickets to see "Thor: Ragnarok" at the grand opening of the New Loma Theater on Friday.

Manzanares Street had the feel of a movie premiere last Friday night.

All that was absent was the red carpet as the city of Socorro welcomed back its movie theater.

“I believe Socorro has its mojo back,” First State Bank’s Holm Bursum III said of the grand opening of the New Loma Theater.

A large crowd was on hand for the street party before the showing of Thor: Ragnarok that included food, music and a ribbon cutting.

Socorro Mayor Ravi Bhasker voiced a hope the theater would help revitalize the area around Manzanares Street that leads up to the Plaza.

“We’re very happy to see the Loma open, and the equipment that they’ve got, the 3D digital camera I think is going to be a huge upgrade,” Bhasker said. “I just hope the crowds keep on coming. They can come and enjoy food, go over to the Cap (Capitol Bar) and then come back and watch a movie. I think it’s going to be terrific. We have to support it, that’s the big thing.”

Before the ribbon cutting, First State Bank’s Cuatro Bursum praised New Mexico Tech’s role in bringing back the theater.

“The staff and faculty of New Mexico Tech were instrumental in bringing an important piece of Socorro back to life,” Cuatro Bursum said. “Let’s go to the movies.”

First State Bank also played an important role. New Mexico Tech signed a five-year lease from First State Bank for $10 a year for the building.

“I am thrilled with the turnout,” New Mexico Tech President Stephen Wells said of the grand opening. “Not only do we have this tonight, we had a full house with the students last night. We showed it to our students. We’re just happy for our students and the community. We don’t have to drive to Los Lunas to see the movie.”

There was a special showing for New Mexico Tech students the night before. It was a sellout. About 60 students had to be turned away, Wells and New Loma Theater manager Elmo Baca said.

The New Loma has been showing to near sell-out crowds since its soft opening two weekends ago.

“We just need to keep that coming,” Wells said. “We need to keep the business going. Hopefully, the first runs will do that.”

“It’s a tremendous crowd and a wonderful response for the Loma Theater,” Baca said. “It’s really heartwarming for the community. They really want their movie theater back. It’s all about the magic of movies.”

Among the first run movies scheduled in coming weeks include Disney/Pixar’s “Coco”, D.C.’s “Justice League” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

When the theater closed in 2014, it was only able to run second-run movies.