Former city manager opening indie theater in Durant

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DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - Former Durant City Manager Tim Rundel is using his newfound free time inspiring artists in the area and, starting Thursday, he's inviting everyone to come down to the Monterey to see what's playing on the silver screen inside.

In June, Rundel told Durant City Council he wouldn't seek a contract extension. The city agreed to buy out the remaining five months of his contract, which was set to expire in December.

Rundel says he and his wife bought the old Nazarene Church campus on South 9th Avenue a year ago, and have spent most of 2019 renovating the building to create their own art Mecca of Durant.

"We've got everything downstairs in our art studios where folks can do water colors, pottery, bead work, musicians, we got a whole lot of stuff going on down there," said Rundel.

The newest feature to the Monterrey is using the old sanctuary as an independent theater.

"So what we wanted to do is take it to the next level, we installed an 18 and a half foot theater screen, as well as a state-of-the-art cinematic HD projection system as well," said Rundel.

One of Rundel's goals with the theater includes hosting a film festival next year.

They are encouraging local students to submit films they have made.

"I love the idea of bringing those kids and their talents and giving them an opportunity to showcase their talents and projects they put together, and having a place to do that," said Melissa Hill with TMI Branding Boutique.

For now, Rundel says he can get used to not working in city government.

"I'm enjoying the break. It may turn into not a break, it may just turn into something I do for the rest of my life, but then again it may turn into something where I decide to put my suit back on and get back into city management," said Rundel.