Here's how I addressed my posted issue:    

Changed the Play/Pause button script (in ImageArea.as line 250ish - sorry don't know exact line since I've changed the code) to:

private  function onClickPlay():Void{   
        mImages[mCurrentImageIndex].hideImage();   
    }

I use the background image as a base image with text (describing the project you are looking at) and then the thumbnails load when you click on them. The main image does NOT load automatically because the ThumbArea.as has the script change of:

Line 76ish:     mSelectedThumbIndex = -1;

This creates a nice project image gallery section that can all be updated and modified by the client. Thanks Miker for the quick response, too!

I need a button that will toggle the main image on/off but keep the thumbnails. The background image should become visible when the main image is turned off/not visible.

Thanks!