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Hyart Theater - Lovell, WY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 44° 50.256 W 108° 23.295
12T E 706427 N 4968228
Quick Description: Built by Hy Bischoff in 1950-51, the Hyart Theatre is one of few 1950s theatres in Wyoming and one of even fewer still in operation today.
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 10/12/2017 4:51:01 PM
Waymark Code: WMWTP7
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Team Farkle 7
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Hyart remained in operation by the Bischoff family until its closure by Hy's Daughter Loretta in 1992. In 2004, lamenting the lack of a theatre in Lovell, a group of Lovell residents formed a non-profit organization, the Hyart Redevelopment Committee, raised money for restoration work and officially re-opened the Hyart on November 13, 2004. Built to seat 1,001 moviegoers, the Hyart now has 940 seats, more than enough for the average crowd of around 350 people. It remains in operation to this day. When we visited in June of 2017 the theatre was screening the Hyart Film Festival.

One of the highlights of the building is the sheet metal pylon that towers above the west side of the façade with a neon-lit artist’s palette topped with the name "HYART", also lit with neon. On the façade is a second neon sign, this one with only the name, "HYART" in yellow neon.

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Hyart Theater The history of the Hyart Theatre is the also the story of the Bischoff family of Lovell. Big Horn Basin theatre entrepreneur Hy Bischoff constructed the theatre in 1950. Bischoff arrived in Lovell as a two-year old child in 1901. The Bischoff family had left Fountain Green, Utah as part of a group of Mormon families sent to colonize Wyoming's Big Horn Basin. Hy's father, Dan Bischoff (1870-1936) became a pioneer in the motion picture business when he bought a Lovell theatre, the Armada, in 1913. The Armada was constructed in 1908 and entertainment had consisted of nightly live shows that had attracted little business. Bischoff bought the theater with the intention of converting it to a movie theater.

When Dan Bischoff died in 1931, Hy took over his father's theatre businesses and continued to operate two Armada theatres. In 1949, Hy decided to build a new state-of-the art theatre. But first, accompanied by his wife Virga and daughter Loretta, he traveled throughout the region surveying movie theatres in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and Utah. He particularly liked Salt Lake City's Villa Theatre, constructed in 1949 (and still standing), and modeled the Hyart's lobby after the Villa Theatre.

The two story Hyart Theatre is built on a concrete foundation with walls constructed of structural tile and sided with brick. The flat roof is covered with vinyl. The building is approximately two hundred and twenty-forty feet long and seventy feet wide. The building faces south on Main Street and is in the heart of Lovell’s downtown. The bottom twelve feet of the façade is sided with irregularly shaped rhyolite “bricks.” Rhyolite is actually a volcanic stone that was cut from a quarry in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The remainder of the building is sided with brick. Embedded in the rhyolite brick on the west side is a concrete plaque that reads “THEATRE BLDG. H. D. Bischoff 1950”. Above the façade’s rhyolite brick is the marquee which forms a canopy above the angled entrance. The top half of the façade is covered with pink sheet metal panels and has eight casement windows that allow light and ventilation into the apartment and office that occupy the second floor of the building. A striking feature of the façade is the large, turquoise-colored sheet metal lattice that stretches in front of the sheet metal panels. The most prominent feature of the façade is the sheet metal pylon that towers above the west side of the façade with a neon-lit artist’s palette topped with the name HYART, also lit with neon.

The auditorium is accessed by two carpeted ramps, one on either side of the lobby. All carpeting in the auditorium is original to the building. The walls of the auditorium are partially paneled with a painted scrollwork design above the paneling. The painting is original and was executed by a Denver artist. The auditorium is 103 feet long and 60 feet wide and contains the original red upholstered seats supplied by the American Seating Company. The theatre originally had 1,001 seats but now has 940. The two hundred-plus seat balcony is accessed by ramps on either side. A soundproof crying room and the projection room are just off the rear of the balcony.
From the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office


Photo goes Here

Business Name: Hyart Theater - Lovell, WY

Business Type: Theater

Physical Address:
251 East Main Street
Lovell, WY United States
82431


Web Address: [Web Link]

Condition of Neon Sign: Fully Working Order: Best viewed at night in its full glory!

Visit Instructions:
Please upload a day & night photo of the sign if possible and tell us about its current condition. Is the neon working? How is the paint wearing?
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