January 12, 2015
The Varsity Theatre, a downtown survivor that has lured generations of college students and townies across its sticky floors for mainstream movies, obscure art-house flicks and recent second-run film offerings, faces a do-or-die transformation again.
The independent theater on Franklin Street has joined other small-town cinemas in the scramble to “go digital” so it won’t have “to go dark.”
Most major studios no longer deliver film prints to movie theaters, replacing them with cheaper digital hard drives.
Paul Shareshian, who bought the Varsity in 2009, hopes to move moviegoers to help him raise nearly $50,000 to preserve a hometown theater that is a holdover from a bygone era. In a town where GATES Construction broke ground at University Mall last fall on a 67,000-square-foot luxury theater that will house 13 screens, 1,500 lush leather seats, a restaurant and a lounge with a full bar, Shareshian has a much humbler goal.
Read the entire article online at thestate.com
July 6, 2013
Earlier this week I wrote about the importance of indiegogo, Kickstarter, and other fundraising sites that have helped independent cinemas convert to digital projection and/or keep the doors open during difficult times. I’m back this weekend with an update on a new effort to restore and reopen the long-closed Huntridge Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada. This S. Charles Lee-designed movie house is drifting away and may face demolition in 2017 when it loses its protected status. This would be a big loss for Las Vegas and for historic theaters.
July 3, 2013
As someone who began working in digital media fifteen years ago and was part of the dot com boom of the late 1990s, I’m always skeptical when some new wave is forming, even when it splashes over me. That’s why I’ve been genuinely elated by the impact Kickstarter and other online fundraising services have had on the plight of independent theaters across the US and UK. Although many larger cinema circuits converted to digital projection years ago, hundreds of small, independent movie houses still cannot not afford the digital transition without significant funds from the public and large donors.
July 18, 2011
June 30, 2011
December 29, 2010
SEATTLE, WA — After having an attempt to raise funds by selling stock/ blocked by state regulators, Paul Doyle is now offering the seats of his financially-ailing Columbia City Cinema for sale, with the goal of raising $50,000 by January 1. Purchasers may actually have the seats or have a plaque installed on the seats attesting to the seats' ownership, or have the seats repurchased by the theater when it is back on solid financial ground.
The message that went out to supporters this week: “Hooray! We’ve figured out how to save the cinema. But it’s going to take every one of you, or it won’t work. And it needs to happen now.”
Doyle set a Jan. 1 deadline for raising $50,000. That amount would buy the theater enough time to remain open indefinitely in 2011 while fundraising continues.
The story is in the online Seattle P-I.
November 12, 2010
TAFT, CA — Though regarded by many as vital to the ongoing redevelopment of the downtown area, the Fox Theatre is in danger of closing unless foreclosure proceedings can be forestalled. The theater opened in the 1920’s and has been extensively renovated and has been functioning as a triplex.
“[Foreclosure] would leave a gutted building downtown, which would be a worst-case scenario because this building virtually takes up most of the main street of Taft.”
There is more from KERO.
September 13, 2010
COLUSA, CA — One of the dwindling number of single screen, smaller town theaters, the 1931 Colusa Theatre is reportedly near to closing due the adverse economy, the pull of newer theaters in Yuba City, and the scarcity of solid hit movies this summer. The owner is thinking of converting the theater to a multi-use venue.
“We’re just getting more money from the same people,” he said.
Wilkinson said the downturn in the economy and competition from the Yuba City movie cineplexes are the major factors for closing.
There is more in the Sun-Herald.
September 1, 2010
WILLCOX, AZ — The Rex Allen Theater is a 501c3 charity, and a community supported theater on the national historic registry. We are owned and operated by the Rex Allen Museum. Our twin screen theater is open every day and for matinees on weekends, and is the only theater within a hour drive in any direction. In one theater we are using a Motiograph that is about 60 years old, and in the other a Century that is about 45 years old. Both are on their last legs. We could sure use the donation of some later model projection equipment in good working order. . Thanks!
August 17, 2010
LOS ANGELES, CA — I need help finding 1000+ seats. We’re renovating the Balboa Theatre and need seats. We are a charity group and have a small budget. So, we either need the chairs donated, for free, or for a small fee…
We’ll pick up or we’ll gladly except delivery….
Thanks so much
we walk by faith not by sight.