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TOPIC: Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $

Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $ 31 May 2010 16:44 #34091

  • Dkiddo
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Hello.

This is my first time using BSB and I come to you all for some advice on a tough issue. I own a independent single-screen movie theater in Chicago. It was operational from 1987 to 2001. The reason it stopped being operational was because in 2001 the air-conditioner broke. For more info on that please read this thread www.bigscreenbiz.com/Forums/The-Lobby/34...rmen.-Need-help.html

I finally want to re-open the theater after 9 years but I have renovation expenses of probably around $50,000 dollars. I don't have that kind of money to spend however so I don't know what to do.

The community is very very interested in seeing the theater open. There even is a facebook fan page with almost 500 members all of which want to see the theater re-open. How could I use these loyal and loving fans to help me raise money for the renovations? Fundraising? Anyone have a similar situation they were in? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Re:Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $ 31 May 2010 18:04 #34092

  • leeler
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I reopened a dead single screen in 2003 in Iowa. The community really wanted it reopened and formed a 501c3 corporation which enabled them to apply for grants. They did so and secured a Main Street Iowa grant as well as a grant from the local gaming commission. This helped move the project forward to a point where I thought I could cover the rest of the expenses. The jury is still out on that one, though ;) In any case, there have been a few examples of community run theaters doing fundraisers in order to convert to digital cinema. Here is one near me

http://www.vintonpalace.org/digital.php

They seem to be getting close and that is roughly the same amount of money you were talking about. So, I guess I would advise you to start something similar with your theater and look for some donations.

Good luck and let us know how things progress

Welcome to the forum!
"What a crazy business"
Last Edit: 31 May 2010 18:09 by leeler.
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Re:Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $ 31 May 2010 19:13 #34093

  • rufusjack
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Leeler,

What did the grants' proceeds provide?
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Re:Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $ 31 May 2010 21:08 #34094

  • Keweler
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Dkiddo,

Welcome.
I am planning some renovations myself and will use my facebook page to find volunteer workers. With 500 fans you should be able to find people that can paint, lay a carpet, install seats and so on, in exchange for some VIP tickets to your Grand Re-Opening.

Good luck,
Jay
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Re:Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $ 31 May 2010 21:36 #34095

  • leeler
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you're right, Jay. volunteers were super helpful when we first got going. We even used them to help staff up initially.

Mike, we got enough to resurface our roof and get a big jump on the renovations.

You can read about my trials and tribulations here
http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/Forums/The-Lobby/9365-Reopening-theater.html
"What a crazy business"
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Re:Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $ 08 Jun 2010 13:05 #34131

  • Dkiddo
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once i open up the website to the public I'll make it known for anyone in the community who wants to help through volunteer work.

However, does anyone know of any local, state or national grants that would pertain to independent movie theaters, or preserving historical buildings, or a fund for the arts and the betterment of the community?
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Re:Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $ 08 Jun 2010 16:35 #34133

  • revrobor
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Dkiddo:

Contact Doyle Wegner in Sumner, Iowa. He is president of a not-for-profit board that runs two theatres in his area under the boards 501 3c. He's an insurance agent in Sumner. His business number is (563) 578-8076.
Bob Allen
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Re:Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $ 08 Jun 2010 20:02 #34135

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rev,

thanks I will contact him soon. Any other info you can provide about him? Did he use those boards to fund his costs to start those two theaters?
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Re:Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $ 09 Jun 2010 00:38 #34136

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He can answer those questions for you. One theatre is run by paid employees. The second, which they just took over, will have both volunteers and paid employees. They re-built the first theatre and reopened it in '03. The second they got from Fridley Theatres.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Re-opening SS theater. Need help on how to raise $ 17 Jun 2010 13:28 #34159

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Anyone know if there are any foundations that would be able to help with renovations and re-opening of the theater? What about the MacArthur foundation, they are fond of giving money for the fine arts.

Also, I'm wondering, how are theaters like Riviera, Aragon, The Vic etc...are kept open and working properly? Does the city own a slice of the pie?

Would there be someone in my neighborhood that I should be talking to? I feel like the alderman or someone particular in my neighborhood would be excited to help me with funding....hmmm
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