Roxy undergoes deep cleaning courtesy of NLAC

The Roxy Theater in Langdon has had years of dirt and movie residue lifted away over the past few weeks as the Northern Lights Arts Council (NLAC) brought in professional help to give the historic community theater a  much needed deep clean.


Posted on 10/22/16

By Melissa Anderson

“Steamatic of Grand Forks did a good extent of the cleaning for us, and Hoffarth Steam Clean will complete the job,” Carla Gemmill, the Executive Director for NLAC, said.

The Roxy, which is a very important part of the Langdon community, is a place where people go to enjoy shows, movies, concerts, etc. As with any building or home, it’s important to keep it in the best shape possible in order for it to maintain its integrity.

“Our theater manager, Steve Hart, does a fantastic job with the building,’ Gemmill said, “He is always very attentive to things that need to be repaired or taken care of, and because of him the building is in very good shape for it’s age.”

A lot of the surfaces inside the Roxy aren’t able to be reached easily, however. Therefore those areas are not able to be cleaned on a regular basis.

“We thought we should take care of those places,” Gemmill stated.

While the theater is cleaned by the Roxy staff on a regular basis and the seats and carpets have been cleaned before, the NLAC has never hired a cleaning company to do this type of “deep” cleaning – it has always been done by volunteers.

Because of the high ceilings in the building, some of the surfaces aren’t able to be reached with standard cleaning equipment.

“We wanted to hand that job over to professionals for a couple reasons; the biggest being safety,” Gemmill said,

In order to do the cleaning, the Roxy used some funds that had been set aside for things like this. The total cost for the cleaning, close to $10,000, however ate away at the theaters funds.

“We would be open to and appreciative of any donations that folks would want to send,” Gemmill stated.

Aside from the obvious benefits of maintaining the building in the best shape possible, it, of course, shows well to patrons that come to the theater to enjoy the movies and other shows that are held there. In some cases, the Roxy is the only building people see when they come from out-of-town for a concert or show. With that in mind, the NLAC wants those visitors to see the pride that our  community takes in the wonderful theater.

“These small-town theaters are few and far between any more, so we have a bit of a gem here in Langdon,” Gemmill explained, “We want everyone who steps into the building to know that we treasure it.”

Steamatic started on October 11 and finished the extensive cleaning on October 21. Steamatic did a top to bottom cleaning of the theater’s hard surfaces. Starting with the walls and ceilings, ceiling fans and speakers, along with the sconces on the walls of the auditorium space of the theater, Steamatic used their skills to remove years of gathered dust.

They continued with the balcony area, along with the basement area where the bathrooms are located, and finished with the entry/concessions area. They cleaned floor to ceiling in each space, using a HEPA vac system and special cleaners to get things as clean as possible. Steamatic also has a high pressure, high-temp floor cleaning system that left the floors looking great, and doing a job that regular mopping simply can’t.

Hoffarth Steam Clean is scheduled to begin their portion of the work on October 25 and will complete the cleaning spree by tackling all the seats  in the auditorium including the cupholders.  They will also clean the carpet along the walls and on the stairways. Gemmill believes this aspect of the cleaning will hopefully be completed by the end of November.

“He’ll do the seats in groups, as we will keep our movie schedule going and don’t want to have wet seats for the movie-goers,” Gemmill said.

Gemmill and the NLAC believe the Roxy is a major asset to the community of Langdon with its  historical significance along with its dedicated staff and an invaluable manager in Steve Hart. As such, the NLAC will continue to do what it can to preserve the theater.

“We want to remind people that it takes all of us to make sure that we keep the Roxy in the best shape we can and that small things like being a little extra careful with drinks and snacks when you’re at a show can make a big difference,” Gemmill said.

The generosity of the Langdon community that has stepped up time and again to show their support for the Roxy also has the NLAC extending a big thank you to them.

“I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I hope our Roxy is around for years to come!“ Gemmill stated.