HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) -- Hot Springs is home to one of Arkansas' national parks, known for its beautiful scenery, and luxurious bath house row downtown. Soon the community can also expect to enjoy a special activity where a historic attraction once stood.
The entire city was at a standstill when the historic Majestic Hotel caught fire three years ago, leaving it as a distant memory. Now the community will get a reminder and new outlook as they enjoy a movie on the lawn where the building once stood in the heart of this city.
"This site where we're standing right here, this is where the pool used to be,” said Lance Spicer as he walked along an empty lot of grass.
Spicer is the Assistant City Manager with the City of Hot Springs. Some still find it hard to imagine that the Majestic Hotel used to be at the end of Central Avenue.
"There were actually 3 sections of the old Majestic Hotel site. The oldest was the yellow brick section that caught fire in February 2014,” Bill Solleder described.
He’s the Special Events Manager at Visit Hot Springs and is over the screening. That fire in 2014 left a huge yard of land vacant and up for grabs. The city eventually purchased it and this is the first event on the site since then.
"We are getting set to present the 1927 sci-fi film Metropolis,” said Spicer.
He’s excited the space will have a new temporary purpose.
"There are a lot of possibilities here and we're just excited to have them,” added Solleder.
Since Majestic burned, over 55 new businesses have opened downtown and over 30 historic buildings have been sold.
"We'll set up here on the lawn of the former Majestic Hotel so that as you're coming down Central Avenue you'll see this large screen with Metropolis being projected onto it,” said Spicer previewing what attendees can expect.
Viewers will not only get to see the screening, but hear it as well. "An 8 piece ensemble of musicians will be performing and improvising the score to Metropolis live,” he said.
The city hopes the event will spark imagination and interest in people around the state and across the country to do something wonderful with the space.
"To me it's special because it symbolizes a rebirth for this site,” said Spicer.
The screening is part of the Arts in the Park Festival, a 10 day celebration of the arts in Hot Springs. The city encourages locals and tourists to come out with blankets, lawn chairs, and enjoy the show.
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