Not business as usual

Warren Theatre
credit: Marianne Bacharach

The Orr Family Farm, a 106-acre site for children’s activities and agriculture education, sustained significant damage as well as the deaths of a number of horses. Some news reports initially put the figure at 100 horses, but Tony Vann, a spokesman for the farm, said most of those found dead were from two adjacent farms.

He said 34 horses were found alive at Celestial Acres, a horse-training center south of the Orr farm, which is at 14400 S.Western.

“And the prognosis is good that they’ll survive,” Vann said.

He noted that all the animals in the family farm’s petting zoo — sheep, pigs, goats, chickens and rabbits — also survived.

But an entertainment barn, a site routinely rented for weddings and other events, was destroyed.

“It’s all gone,” said Vann. “And at Celestial Acres, all but about one and a half of the five barns there are gone, scraped to the foundation.”

The Orr family posted a message on their website: “We very much appreciate and feel very blessed with the outpouring of support from all of you. Please continue to watch our page as we try to assess damage and offer more information to you when we can. We appreciate your offers of assistance, animal care and items, and we will let you know when we can receive these generous offers.”

In Moore, the front marquee of the Warren Theatre summed things up the day after the tornado struck: “God Bless Moore.”

“We’ve gone from a business relationship to a personal relationship with the people of Moore,” said Bill Warren, corporate owner of the Wichita, Kan.- based theater chain. “If there is any way we can help the people, we’ll do it.”

Damage to the theater along Interstate 35 was mostly cosmetic. On May 20, moviegoers took to shelter in the hallways. No one was hurt.

The theater is scheduled to reopen this week. Warren said the building suffered about $500,000 in exterior damage.

“[W]e have a lot of personal friends there,” he said. “If the opening helps get people back on their feet, that’s a good thing.”

Jerry Bohnen

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