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The World's Smallest Drive-in faces their biggest challenge: Go Digital or Go Dark! Read more

Bethel, VT Theater
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 27, 2014.

The World's Smallest Drive-in faces their biggest challenge: Go Digital or Go Dark!

Bethel, VT Theater
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About this project

Update: As previously mentioned, the projector costs around $75,000. We set our Kickstarter goal at a reasonable level to ensure we were funded. The $20,000 goal was to serve as the downp ayment for the projector with plans of on-going fundraising to pay down the balance.

The more we raise in this Kickstarter NOW is less we have to raise later. 

Please continue donating and all money over the $20,000 goal will be put towards the final projector cost.  Take advantage of all the great prizes we offer and donate today!

Randall Drive-In: The Sequel

Our first Kickstarter was a success with our loyal fans, but ultimately came up a little short of our goal. As with any successful movie, you can expect a sequel!

Although the equipment still costs $75,000, we are re-launching our Kickstarter with a lower goal with the intent of using the Kickstarter proceeds to order a new digital projector. The remaining balance will be funded through additional fundraising efforts.

While our ultimate goal is to fund the entire digital conversion through fundraising, we know that we are a small community and it will take time. As long as we join together and at LEAST meet our minimum goal of $20,000, movies will be shown at the Randall Drive-in in 2014 in full digital glory!

The Backstory

Nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont lies the Randall Drive-In Theatre, the world's smallest remaining drive-in. The theatre was built literally in Al Randall's back yard and has been providing family affordable fun under the stars ever since. Built in 1954, and celebrating its 60th Anniversary this season, the Randall Drive-In Theatre is one of only 4 remaining drive-ins in the state of Vermont. Drive-Ins are a piece of Americana that once dotted the landscape with over 4,000 theaters during their heyday.

Randall Drive-In Theatre Original Marquee
Randall Drive-In Theatre Original Marquee

 The Randall Drive-In has stood the test of time enduring the 1980’s when other media options (VHS, Cable) became prevalent and attendance faltered. Even Mother Nature has impacted the drive-in with recent hurricanes Irene & Ida dropping the back field into the nearby White River and reducing the car capacity to below 150 making the Randall the smallest remaining drive-in. While all previous challenges have been met, digital cinema now threatens to close down this drive-in for good.

 The last 8 years have seen the drive-in leased by different parties willing to run the theater as a “community theatre”, which has greatly benefited the area residents. As is often the case with leased drive-ins, they were run year- to-year without looking forward to the dangers that digital cinema would present. At the end of the 2012 season, many people believed it to be the last for the Randall Drive-In, a sentiment re-enforced when winter storms ravaged the screen.

Drive-In Screen April 2013 after winter storms
Drive-In Screen April 2013 after winter storms

 Seeking to restore the Randall to its former glory longtime patrons Adam Gerhard and Regina Franz formed Capture the Dream, LLC and leased the property for the 2013 season. They quickly set to work on renovating the theater. The entire projection booth was updated with high end quality 35 mm equipment to provide the best possible picture on the newly repaired and painted screen:

Repaired and painted screen...ready for business May 2013
Repaired and painted screen...ready for business May 2013

 Many changes we also made to the theatre in 2013, including:

  • Lowered admission prices so families could enjoy the newly renovated theatre
  • Expanded season starting before Memorial Day and going past Labor Day for the first time in 60 years!
  • Introducing triple features not once but SIX times in 2013
  • Customer Appreciation carload specials
  • Attention to details and Dedication customer service
  • An upcoming music video was shot this summer at the Randall:
Boston-based band Whispering Ghost's upcoming debut music video being shot at the Randall Drive-In
Boston-based band Whispering Ghost's upcoming debut music video being shot at the Randall Drive-In

 The changes our company made to Randall had an immediately impact and the Randall is having the best season in over a quarter century with record attendance and sellout nights. We increased advertising as well as a new website and Facebook page which has people travelling from near and far just to spend a night under the stars with us.

The Challenge

After a record season, it has become quickly apparent that digital cinema won't wait a few more years as many originally believed. Our dream has been to run a drive-in movie theater and rather than have this renaissance season be a Swan Song for the Randall Drive-In, we are asking for assistance so our company can obtain a digital projector and we can keep running drive-ins for many years into the future.  

Digital Cinema comes at a staggering price: $75,000! For the world's smallest drive-in, funding this alone is not a viable option. We run virtually non-profit with our passion for drive-ins keeping the place open so local residents can enjoy family time under the stars. What we offer is an experience that is a throwback to simpler times. In the ever evolving digital world, it is important to preserve these opportunities for families to come together and enjoy time outside.

Patrons start gathering at the venerable Snack Bus as the drive-in opens for another night under the stars
Patrons start gathering at the venerable Snack Bus as the drive-in opens for another night under the stars

 We have put much effort into the theatre this year and are asking the community to help fund our companies' quest to own a digital projector so we can keep running drive-ins and living our dream.

The future of cinema....either we have one, or we go dark
The future of cinema....either we have one, or we go dark
Randall Ticket booth as the sun sets for another night of movies...
Randall Ticket booth as the sun sets for another night of movies...
Don't let the sun set on another drive-in...preserve this piece of Americana, the world's smallest remaining drive-in
Don't let the sun set on another drive-in...preserve this piece of Americana, the world's smallest remaining drive-in

Risks and challenges

We have done our due diligence, gotten all estimates, and have put together a plan to make digital a reality at the Randall Drive-in in 2014.

As long as this Kickstarter is funded, we will be able to watch digital cinema at the Randall this year!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    18 backers

    Saw V: You came, you saw, you supported us! You will receive our undying gratitude and a free small popcorn on your next trip to the drive-in. You will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre and your name will be listed as a Bronze Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $12 or more

    11 backers

    Cheaper by the Dozen: You will receive one pack containing 12 glow bracelets of assorted colors! You will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre and your name will be listed as a Bronze Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    5 backers Limited (45 left of 50)

    American Hustle: Receive a 11 X 17 mini Poster of the Award Winning movie "American Hustle". Valued at nearly $20!
    Additionally you will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Bronze Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    32 backers

    The Flying Saucer: You will receive a Randall Drive-In Frisbee and a medium popcorn. You will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre and your name will be listed as a Bronze Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    26 backers

    Chocolat Lovers: You will receive a Randall Drive-In Hot Chocolate Mug for those cold nights at the drive-in, a medium popcorn, and a Randall Drive-In Frisbee! You will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre and your name will be listed as a Bronze Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    5 backers

    All Dogs go to Heaven (The Drive-In!): Special care package including dog treats and a chew toy for our four legged friends who visit the drive-in. Cat lovers can substitute in a cat care package with catnip toys and treats. You will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre and your name will be listed as a Bronze Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    6 backers

    Dinner On Us: Cheeseburger, Fries, and a Large popcorn (substitutions allowed)! Also a Randall Drive-In Hot Chocolate Mug and Frisbee! You will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre and your name will be listed as a Bronze Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    27 backers

    Taking the shirt off our backs: You will receive a Randall Drive-In T-shirt, XL Popcorn, Hot Chocolate Mug, and Frisbee. Additionally you will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Silver Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    11 backers

    Wanted Poster: You will receive a movie poster, XL Popcorn, a Randall Drive-In T-shirt, Coca Mug, and Frisbee. Additionally you will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Silver Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    5 backers

    Carload Special: You will receive a carload pass good during the 2014, an XL Popcorn, Additionally you will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Silver Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    7 backers

    Popcorn Addict: A Bottomless Ceramic Popcorn Tub refillable for free for the entire 2014 season at the Randall Drive-In! Additionally you will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Silver Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support! *Note: This prize package must be picked up at the theatre.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    23 backers

    Devoted Fan: You will receive two adult movie tickets, XL Popcorn, a Randall Drive-In T-shirt, Coca Mug, and Frisbee. Additionally you will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Silver Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    2 backers

    Admission: 8 Movies passes for the 2014 season. Additionally you will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Silver Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $135 or more

    0 backers

    Throwing your support behind us: You get a set of popcorn and soda shaped throw pillows for those late triple feature nights at the drive-in along with four movie tickets, XL Popcorn, and 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Silver Donor on our website in a special donors section. Reward to be picked up at the theatre. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    1 backer

    Wanted Poster: The Sequel: You will receive two movie posters, XL Popcorn, a Randall Drive-In T-shirt, Coca Mug, and Frisbee. Additionally you will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Silver Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    3 backers Limited (97 left of 100)

    Going Postal: Your name on the speaker post of your choice along with two movie tickets, XL Popcorn, a Randall Drive-In T-shirt, Coca Mug, and Frisbee. Additionally you will get 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Silver Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $225 or more

    0 backers

    Last Night Enthusiast: You get a set of popcorn and soda shaped throw pillows and a 60" X 50" movie night throw for those late triple feature nights at the drive-in along with eight movie tickets, XL Popcorn, and 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Silver Donor on our website in a special donors section. Reward must be picked up at the theatre. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers

    How To Get Ahead By Advertising: Your Ad displayed on our handouts given to every customer entering the drive-in for the entire 2014 season.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers

    Movie Addicts: Season pass for two people which includes a medium popcorn for EACH visit, and 30 frames of 35mm film played at our theatre! Your name will be listed as a Gold Donor on our website in a special donors section. Thank you for your contribution and support!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers

    The Secret to Your Success: Your Logo displayed on our screen prior to each nights movies and your Ad on our handouts given to every customer entering the drive-in for the entire 2014 season.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    The Color of Money: A Banner hung under the screen for your business, your Logo displayed on our screen prior to each nights movies, and your Ad on our handouts given to every customer entering the drive-in for the entire 2014 season.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Million Dollar Baby: Your companies banner hung under the screen for your business, your 30 second advertisement played on our 60ft screen prior to each nights movies, and your Ad on our handouts given to every customer entering the drive-in for the entire 2014 season.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    1 backer

    Easy Money: Have your next corporate gathering at the drive-in (limited to 150 cars) for a private screening of a movie of your choice (based on availability). A Banner hung under the screen for your business, your Logo displayed on our screen prior to each nights movies, and your Ad on our handouts given to every customer entering the drive-in for the entire 2014 season.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $4,000 or more

    0 backers

    Brewster's Millions: Have your next corporate gathering at the drive-in (limited to 150 cars) for a private screening of a movie of your choice (based on availability). Free popcorn and soda provided for all attendees! A Banner hung under the screen for your business, your Logo displayed on our screen prior to each nights movies, and your Ad on our handouts given to every customer entering the drive-in for the entire 2014 season.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (46 days)