Over the last eight years, the Moore Warren Theatre has served the Moore community and the surrounding areas. The Moore Warren opened its doors in 2008, later adding its now-popular Director’s Suite in 2011 and a new IMAX auditorium in 2012.

“The Moore Warren is an iconic image in our community,” Tracie Dickerson, a Moore resident, said. “My husband grew up in the area, and when we moved our family here two years ago, it was kind of like a right of passage to watch a movie from the balcony.”

However, just one year later, the Warren and the surrounding Moore community, faced the aftermath of the worst storm in a decade.

On the afternoon of May 20, 2013, tragedy struck Moore when an EF5 tornado touched down and wreaked havoc for nearly 40 minutes. Among the wreckage, stood the Warren Theatre, damaged and harboring moviegoers from the passing storm. Hours after the tornado, the Warren became a triage center for the wounded and a makeshift morgue for lives lost.

In the days following the storm, residents and businesses across Moore, including the Warren, began to rebuild. The theater sustained exterior and roof damage, as well as damage to a number of display signs. Despite the closure of surrounding roads and an array of costly repairs, the Warren remained closed for only eight days.

After reopening, the theater and its employees focused on easing the recovery process for Moore’s residents. With so many businesses and homes affected by the storm, the Warren offered an escape through entertainment, allowing families and friends to enter an entirely different world, even if just for a few hours on the big screen.

“I fell in love with it the first time I visited the Warren,” Dickerson said. “It was right after it had been restored after the tornadoes and you could feel the excitement like part of the community was alive again.”

Photography by: Jonathan Burkhart

The next couple of years brought more storms and weather threats to the Moore area. And yet, the Warren stood resilient, with doors wide open to the Moore community. In fact, the Moore Warren is one of the top-grossing theaters in the nation, offering up huge box office weekend totals for numerous blockbusters.

Patrons from across the metro visit the Moore Warren due to its reputation for high-quality movies and a great night out. However, the Warren is a product, first and foremost, of the surrounding Moore community.

“I think without the Moore Warren, we, as a community, would be missing a big part of who we are and the joy that it brings,” Dickerson said. “People come from all around the Oklahoma City area to come to the Warren. It’s a point of pride for our area to be known for something so enjoyable for everyone.”

As the season for awards and accolades nears, now is the perfect time to visit the Moore Warren. Not sure what to see? Here’s a list of the Oscar nominees for Best Picture to help get you started.

The Big Short (Rated R)

Directed by Adam McKay and starring Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt, “The Big Short” tells the story of the housing bubble economic collapse in the mid-2000s and how four business professionals in the finance industry bet against the housing market.

Bridge of Spies (Rated PG-13)

Based on true events, “Bridge of Spies” follows James B. Donovan, an American lawyer recruited by the CIA to defend a Soviet spy and help facilitate a spy exchange between the two sides. The film is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Tom Hanks.

Brooklyn (Rated PG-13)

In John Crowley’s “Brooklyn,” Saoirse Ronan stars as Ellis, an Irish immigrant who makes her way to Brooklyn in the 1950s in search of opportunity. Ellis falls in love in America but is called back to Ireland due to tragedy. She then must choose between her lives and loves in both countries.

Mad Max: Fury Road (Rated R)

This summer blockbuster, starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult and directed by George Miller, is set in post-apocalyptic Australia, where a woman (Theron) rebels against the land’s ruler, helping a group of female prisoners to escape. With Max (Hardy) and Nux (Hoult) in tow, she searches for an oasis that is her homeland.

The Martian (Rated PG-13)

Ridley Scott pulls together an all-star cast for “The Martian,” based on the book of the same name by Andy Weir. Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Kate Mara and Chiwetel Ejiofor bring the story of Mark Watney to life. When Watney is stranded alone on Mars after his crew evacuates during a storm, he must find a way to both signal Earth that he’s alive and survive for as long as possible.

The Revenant (Rated R)

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson star in Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “The Revenant.” Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) is a fur-trading frontiersman on an expedition in the 1820s who must fight for survival after he is attacked by a bear and left for dead by hunting colleagues.

Room (Rated R)

Based on the book of the same title, “Room” captures the story of Jack and his mother, who plan a daring escape from a 10-by-10-foot room where Jack has lived for his entire life. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay star in this drama about risk and discovery, directed by Lenny Abrahamson.

Spotlight (Rated R)

This cinematic biography, based on a true story, depicts how the Boston Globe revealed the scandal and coverup of child molestation within the Catholic Church. Directed by Tom McCarthy, the film stars Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci.