With recent articles posted in the Mountain Mail and Central Colorado Magazine, the community of Salida is now aware of the necessity for Storyville Cinema to convert from 35-mm to digital projection. Many patrons have expressed concern of losing their local movie theater, and they want information about where we are with grants and possible conversion. Myself, Amy Helm (Owner / Operator) and my employees greatly appreciate your concerns and inquiries.
Storyville Cinema is launching this Kickstarter campaign to raise funds that will enable us to upgrade at least one of our screens and also reach the greater community with information. While we are still able to book first run film on the national break in our current format, the end is fast approaching as there is a limited supply of film. 35-mm film is no longer being manufactured. We have been notified by two of our distributors they will no longer provide new releases in 35-mm format next year.
In August of this year, I applied for a grant through the SBDC of Colorado. We received a confirmation letter from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) on November 4th that we have qualified for a $20,000 grant to assist with the conversion. Storyville Cinema needs to raise an additional $45,000 to match the grant two to one, and to cover the remaining expenses to convert one of our screens. The estimate I have from a digital installer ranges between $50,000 to $55,000 per screen, and seems to be consistent with estimates other "grant qualifying" rural theaters have received.
Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) has been very proactive in assisting with the grant process, and getting the word out . I am extremely impressed with the efforts DCI has made to assist rural theaters in making headway to upgrade and stay open. Please visit their web site for current and detailed information as to their efforts. www.downtowncoloradoinc.org (key search "save our screens") DCI launched a statewide networking campaign to assist theaters in raising money in addition to local efforts. We are hoping to raise all of the additional funds we need through our Kickstarter program, and will link to their efforts should this fundraising effort fail.
I grew up in Littleton Colorado in the 70's — a community that was not much different from Salida. Southglenn Mall was a farm, and we were surrounded by lots of open space as our playground. I fondly remember walking to our local twin theater with my friends to see movies. This was a safe place for us to go unaccompanied by, but with our parent's permission. And together, our family frequented the theater. The afternoon matinee was a tradition for us on Christmas day. I believe it is important for every community to have a movie theater nearby — especially one within walking distance for many of it's patrons. And I also believe a movie theater to be a strong asset for the City of Salida and Chaffee County.
We thank you in advance for helping us meet our goal, and keeping Storyville Cinema as a viable business in our community. Should we exceed our goal, we intend to apply extra funds to a badly needed new screen and seats for the theater that will be converted to digital. We have set up a bank account specific to these fundraising efforts. All funds will be used solely for upgrades.
Risks and challenges
Once funds are in place, the only obstacle we foresee is scheduling the digital equipment installation. The digital installation company we have an estimate from (Claco Equipment) is out of Utah. So depending on their schedule, travel time and weather, we hope to have new equipment in place late February, early March. Until then we will continue in 35-mm format as long as we are able to receive prints from our distributors. Paramount Pictures let us know "Anchorman 2" is the last new release they will provide in 35-mm format.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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