Last weekend the Nelson Civic Theatre’s community challenge reached over $100,000. The society is now two-thirds of the way to meeting a $150,000 fundraising campaign goal.
“We issued the community challenge at our opening gala on February 22,” explains project manager Roger Ley. “An anonymous donor stepped in to add $60,000 to the $15,000 we had already raised. We asked for the community to match that by May 1 so we could show digital movies this summer. And the community is coming through.”
Ley reports that seat sponsorships at $250 and private donations from $50 to $5,000 have all contributed to the cause. The theatre’s March Movie Weekend was a fundraising success.
“It proves that if a lot of people contribute even a little, we can reach our goals. With five weeks to go, with this community, I know we can do it,” says Ley.
Digital projection and sound is the first fundraising goal for the society, which will eventually convert the theatre into a three-screen cinema showing Hollywood, independent, and classic films as well as providing a flexible venue for community use. By the end of this year the film industry will have made its own digital conversion, no longer striking 35mm film prints. That means that theatres that can’t make the digital conversion will have increasingly limited access to old print films.
“It’s already a challenge getting films to show in our monthly movie weekends,” says Ley. “It will only become harder. Going digital is a crucial first step in being a theatre that will serve our community for years to come.”
Currently, the Civic Theatre shows movies on the third weekend of each month, with the next movie weekend slated for April 19 to 21. Once digital, the society hopes to show films every weekend as well as being available for community events of all kinds.
For information on the work of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society and the community challenge go to civictheatre.ca.