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home : columnists : columnists August 21, 2017

7/6/2017 4:00:00 AM
Wafford is guy behind camera, movies in park
The Times photo by Betsy ReasonJim Wafford runs the video camera, filming stage entertainment at Noblesville Fireworks Festival on Tuesday.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason

Jim Wafford runs the video camera, filming stage entertainment at Noblesville Fireworks Festival on Tuesday.

By Betsy Reason

On July 4, Jim Wafford was the guy behind the camera filming the stage entertainment at Noblesville Fireworks Festival and driving his company vehicle in the Noblesville Fourth of July Parade.

He is the guy who plays the free Classic Movies on Friday nights at Forest Park. And the guy who annually live streams the Hamilton County 4-H Fair Queen contest and does live coverage throughout the 4-H Fair.

He is also the guy who will show Disney's 2006 remake of "The Shaggy Dog" movie this Saturday at Federal Hill Commons, in conjunction with Noblesville Street Dance.

Wafford broadcasts live web coverage of high school football games, basketball games and other high school sporting events. He used to show the silent movies on the Courthouse Square for the Hamilton County Historical Society.

Everywhere I go, I see Jim Wafford involved with the community or behind a camera capturing important moments in the community.

Wafford owns Hamilton County Television, his hobby business that produces 11 weekly shows. He also owns Noblesville Trophies and Logan Street Signs and Banners, the latter of which owns and maintains www.noblesville.com, the oldest Noblesville community website, online since 1992. His sign business celebrates 25 years in 2017.

Wafford, a Cardinal Ritter High School grad who grew up down the street from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is a former truck driver and Hoosier Lottery warehouse manager who came to Noblesville to work for Gary Kreigh, who was opening the former Noblesville Emporium.They created a print business to support the Emporium's vendors, then Wafford opened a sign shop across the street when, he said, "somebody in town needed a banner." He spent three years on Logan Street before moving his business to South 10th Street, where he also has Noblesville Trophies, which he purchased in 2004, and Hamilton County Television and another hobby, Wafford Theater, which formerly had a small, swanky public theater that regularly showed classic movies but now shows movies on the road.

Wafford made a name for himself with his crazy antics on the local cult hit, "Sinisterly Bad Theater" played on the former Channel 19, while attempting to bring more business to the sign shop. Today, followers watch the best of the episodes on HamiltonCountyTV.com.

Wafford is also the guy who has annually partnered with Hamilton County Council on Alcohol and Other Drug executive director George Kristo to show a kids movie at the free First Night Noblesville New Year's Eve party.

He helped create a web channel for Noblesville High School called Mill TV at milltv1.com. For 12 years, Wafford has been a mentor for high school interns, who last school year wrote and created their own shows with their own identities, and the interns learn all facets of broadcasting, including running the cameras. The interns are also involved in broadcasting and producing high school game coverage.

Wafford was on the original board of Noblesville Main Street, was on the downtown parking committee for four years and has been on the Noblesville Fireworks Festival committee. He is also involved in Sunrisers Kiwanis and Noblesville Chamber of Commerce.

He traditionally makes an appearance in every Noblesville Parade, including the parade marshal for the 2014 Noblesville Christmas Parade.

Wafford, who has a passion for old movies, started his Classic Movie series in 2010 after he proposed the idea to Noblesville Parks Department, using his own screen that took four hours to put up and two hours to disassemble, and a home-style stereo sound system. His first movie audience had 12 people, the second movie attracted 30 people, and by the end of the year had more than 100 people watching classic movies from their lawn chairs and blankets in Forest Park, on his dime. Today, his captioned movies draw up to 350 people and are shown on an inflatable screen with an outdoor sound system. Sponsors in 2016 donated 80 percent of the cost, which for a series, is an annual $6,000, including nonrefundable license fees, for $250 to $425, to show each movie. Plus, he hires out for Saturday nights to show popular kids movies at Saxony, McCordsville and other nearby communities.

This Friday, Wafford Theater Classic Movie series continues, as he shows the 1940 film, "Third Finger, Left Hand." The remainder of the season includes the 1986 "Crocodile Dundee," rated PG-13, on July 14; the 1988 "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," rated PG, on July 21; the 1994 "The Mask," rated PG-13, July 28; and 1970 "Two Mules for Sister Sara," rated PG-13, on Aug. 4.

See ya there!

-Contact me at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, July 6, 2017
Article comment by: Dereck Stinson

Great write up Betsy. We are so lucky to have Jim in our community and am grateful for all he does. I am happy to see him recognized. Thank you.

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