THE STOREFRONT THEATER - a public artwork by artist Matthew Mazzotta and the people of Lyons, Nebraska 2015 - is an outdoor movie theater that uses an empty storefront on Main Street as its site. The front of the building has been modified with two hydraulic Pump arms so that the awning and false front of the building are one unit and can fold down over the sidewalk with the push of a button. The idea was born from the communities’ interest in revitalizing the downtown core of this 851-person town. Both the seats and the screen can retract and disappear when not in use giving the impression that there is nothing unusual about the space, with only the word of mouth accounts to keep people interested.
When the idea was presented that we would make a retractable theater in Lyons, NE, a local retired postman who dabbles in movie making asked to be part of the project. Together we developed the concept of a documentary called “Decades” that is a story of the downtown over the years. Many members of the community volunteered to be in the movie by dressing up in costumes and others brought their vintage cars for the shoot to make it authentic.
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