Dear Movie Lovers,
It's hard to believe how quickly things change.Just a few years ago, 35mm film prints were readily available to theaters big and small.Digital projection technology has changed all that.Today most films are sent to movie theaters on hard drives similar to the one that is in your computer.
Small theaters all over the country are left to fight over the few 35mm prints that are currently being made.The drive-in theater, seen by many as little more than a fossil of movie-going history, is last in line for new movies.The only way to change that is to convert to digital projectors.
After purchasing the equipment, having it installed, and having a technician calibrate it, the cost of the upgrade is estimated to be $80,000.00 per drive-in screen.It isn't cheap but it is a necessity: after 2013, no new 35mm film prints will be made.
I'm asking you to help the Skyline Drive-In Theater make the investment in digital projectors.
Opened in 1964, the Skyline is one of just 5 drive-ins still operating in Washington State.In 2011 and 2012 it was voted one of the top 5 theaters in Evening Magazine's annual Best of Western Washington poll and the Skyline has also received recognition as a historical site.
Having booked the drive-in for several years, my family purchased it from the original owner in 2005 after promising him that we would keep "his baby" going.Over the last decade we have invested tens of thousands of dollars back in to the drive-in to upgrade and update the facilities.We are committed to continuing the distinctly American traditions of double-features, kids in their pajamas in the backseat, and watching movies under the stars.
Last year, with the support of the online and local community, we were able to raise almost half of the anticipated $80,000.00 needed to make this conversion.We are asking for your support to raise the remaining capital and keep the Skyline Drive-In from disappearing in the rear-view mirror of the American past.
Our thanks to those of you who have supported our fundraising efforts so far by coming out to the movies, buying goodies at our snack bar, donating, and purchasing Skyline merchandise.
The Skyline staff is dedicated to providing a unique movie-going environment that is fun for adults as well as children.In 2012 alone the Skyline Drive-In:
- Showed the sing-a-long version of Grease which served as a fundraiser for local nonprofit group Anna's Bay Center for Music.
- We supported our troops by offering free admission to any active duty military member during the month of July.
- Had our annual Labor Day Triple Bill which featured three of the best kid's movies from the summer.
- Had our annual showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, featuring live performances from The Bluemouseketeers!
- Had our annual Kid's Day- featuring games, contests, and a chance for the kids to decorate our snack bar sidewalk with their own chalk artwork.
- Hosted a superhero costume contest- with prizes for the winners- to celebrate The Avengers.
In addition to upgrading the projector our improvement plans include working with the Shelton Neon Project to restore our neon sign to its original 1964 glory.Future improvement projects we are considering include a children's play area and a small stage for live acts prior to the movies.
With your help there will be a lot to celebrate by the time of the Skyline's 50th anniversary in 2014, and for many years to come.
On behalf of everyone here at the Skyline, thank you for your time.See you at the movies!
Risks and challenges
The biggest risks facing this project are:
Raising the necessary funds to purchase the equipment
The compressed timeframe- we need this conversion to happen ASAP
The need for outside technical help with installation and calibration
We have done our homework with regards to city and county permits to ensure that there will be no delays or surprises once we acquire the equipment. Our building and wiring is up to code and the same experienced technician who has kept our current equipment in order is standing by to install the digital projector.
With over 30 years of experience in both owning theaters and booking films for other theaters, we have knowledge of industry standards and best practices. We've learned from our clients who have already made the conversion to digital projection. We have the contacts and resources to ensure that the risk of any potential setback is minimized and all problems are resolved quickly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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