Where it hits hard

This is where people get really upset about regulation, and you can understand why . . .

Baker City is out there by its own self, quite a distance from other communities. I-84 runs through it, but the 10,000 people of Baker are a distinct community – about 40 minutes from La Grande, the nearest community of similar size, and well over an hour from Ontario. You drive over substantial mountains to get to anywhere else, and those roads – this includes the freeway – get tricky at various points in the winter.

Baker City, and Baker County for that matter, has one movie theatre, the Eltrym Theatre, and you just know that’s an important fixture in town. A lot of small-town theatres like it have closed over the years, but the Eltrym has stayed afloat. And now the big movie season, summer, is just about to begin . . .

Maybe. The theatre apparently hasn’t met fire safety water sprinkler codes, hasn’t for some years, and now the Baker City Council has given its owner until June 30 to at least come up with a plan to meet the requirements. (We’re not belittling that; yes, we know about the fires that have taken lives in firetrap buildings.) If the requirements are strictly adhered to, there’s a good chance that the owner might just walk away, and the theatre may close.

You get the feeling that a lot of people in Baker are going to be very unhappy if there’s not a serious attempt to find some ground everyone can live with . . .

Share on Facebook