ELECTRA (KFDX/KJTL) — A film festival is headed to Texoma and the Electra Grand Theatre is preparing for its first crowd since before the pandemic.

“Like every place it’s been a long time since it’s been possible for us to gather,” Electra Grand Theatre Board Incorporated Secretary Jannis Hayers said.

And it’s been unquestionably a long time given the Electra Grand Theatre’s been empty and quiet for more than a year now, but it’s only a matter of time now.

Visitors, hometown people, we’d like everyone to come out and participate,” Electra Grand Theatre Board Incorporated President Jeanette Miller said.

The Cowpokes International Film Festival arrives in Electra on April 16 and will stick around until the 18th, featuring well over 50 films with a balance of westerns and all genres.

But now, with just under two weeks until opening day, the clean-up begins on the building that originally opened in 1920.

“Because this is always a carpenter shop for the many things that have to happen in a 100-year old building to keep it operational, so we just have to clean house,” Hayers said.

They’ve done just that, with help from various volunteers, including the Electra national honor society students, they’ve worked hard to get this theatre “festival ready.”

Ready for films like “Amazing Grace,” starring Electra’s own Robert Craighead, who’s nominated for Best Actor in a Short.

“He’s been a big help to use over the years as we worked on restoring the theatre and he considers Electra to be his hometown, and we consider him to be one of us,” Miller said.

So after all the shutdowns and cancellations, the theatre is ready for showtime.

“With vaccinations wide spread, and case loads going down precipitously, hallelujah,” Hayers said.

To provide a fun, stress-free weekend at a film festival.

“This will be an opportunity for the theatre to be open and the community to have a place to come,” Hayers said.

Right here in Electra.

“There’s so much going on that weekend in Electra, in downtown Electra, for the first time in a very very long time, so we’re looking forward to having people on the streets,” Hayers said.

And don’t miss a special acoustic show with multi-platinum songwriter Bernie Nelson on Friday night at 9 after the showings!

For more information on the Cowpokes International Film Festival, click here or here for their Facebook page!