We Have Reached our Initial Funding Goal of $50K to Convert 1 of the 2 Theaters!
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!!!
Even though we have reached our funding goal of $50,000, the KickStarter campaign will continue until February 15th.
As we originally stated, donations exceeding our goal would be put towards the conversion of the larger theater.
The Varsity was built in 1927, (Originally the Carolina Theater and then the Village Theater) making it one of the oldest theatres in North Carolina and a Chapel Hill institution.
Every year, thousands of residents of all ages visit the Varsity to enjoy the magic of the movies in a classic neighborhood setting. We want this tradition to continue, but we need your help! After 100 years of movies being screened from film, Hollywood is converting to digital, and announced that movies will no longer be projected using 35 mm film. In fact, the Varsity won’t get any new films from our distributors and to make it even worse, most of the older films have been converted to digital or destroyed so we can’t get those movies either. The majority of today's multiplexes, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners, have made the jump to digital projection.
All theatres must convert to digital projection equipment or close.
This technology change is very expensive. For large multiplexes, 70% of the cost of the conversion to digital projection is subsidized by the film industry. Without this subsidy, the multiplexes would have to close. For small locally owned theaters like the Varsity, that subsidy is not available. It is reported that approximately 1000 independent theaters across the country will close because they cannot afford to convert to digital projection. If the campaign is successful we will immediately upgrade the Varsity’s Small Theater (138 seats) to digital and hopefully if we exceed our goal we'll be able to get to work on The Big Theater (230 seats) as well.
With digital projectors in place we'll be able to keep the Varsity alive offering a modern, first-class movie experience in a classic neighborhood theatre.
And if we're not successful? Without digital, the Varsity Theatre can't continue to screen new films and the theatre will likely go dark. We don't want that to happen and we know you don't want it to happen either! So please give what you can and for that we'll give you great opportunities to experience the new and improved Varsity for many years to come.
To raise the funds for the Varsity, we have launched this campaign on Kickstarter. The way Kickstarter works, if we don't reach our goal of $50,000, then we get nothing and your pledge is not charged to your credit card. Through Kickstarter, we ask you, Varsity supporters, to help us keep our doors open by making a pledge. In return for your support, we offer some great rewards.
When we re-opened the theater 5 years ago we decided to keep costs low for our patrons with low ticket and concession prices with second run movies and affordable theater rentals. We have been very successful in the rental world; we have hosted Weddings, Parties, Movie Series and Oscar Parties, Comedy Shows and numerous fundraisers for many of our local charities. We have met so many wonderful people in our last 5 years. Because we have a two-pronged business approach we must sustain both in order to stay open. We must convert to Digital in order to keep our doors open.
The Varsity is currently a two screen theater - this campaign is designed to convert one theater only We wanted to keep the fundraising amount down to a reasonable sum and if we exceed our goal we will use the additional funds to begin the second theater conversion.
In addition to running affordable family entertainment, the Varsity continually supports local charities in a variety of ways. We have donated tickets, movie passes and rental space as well as provided an affordable rental space for non profits to host events. We have supported the CHCCS, SKJAJA, Color the Hill, Porch, LUNA Chix, UNC Relay for Life & Sweet Melissa Fund to name a few.
Please help us by spreading the word! Send this link to your family, friends, colleagues, classmates, teachers, and acquaintances. Post it on your Facebook. Instagram it, Tweet about it. #GoDigitalorGoDark - And encourage others to do the same. Our Kickstarter campaign can only be as successful as we are in getting the word out.
Frequently Asked Questions of the Varsity Theatre Kickstarter Campaign
1. Question: If the project is not fully funded, will I get a refund? Answer: When you make a pledge of support, your credit card isn’t charged until our campaign ends, and only if we reach our goal of raising $50,000
2. Question: Why should I support a for-profit business?
Answer: We believe that we are part business, part community service, and part historic keepers. We host many events for local film makers, local charity fund raisers and local community activists. We think the community has to decide what having a historic theater in their town is worth. Kickstarter does not normally accept small businesses, but it does support independent theaters for these reasons.
Thanks for your support and we'll see you at The Varsity!
Risks and challenges
Many independent theaters around the country have successfully converted their theaters to digital projectors over the past couple years. We have thoroughly researched the process and have vendors picked out to do the work. We fully expect to be able to make this transition in early 2015 if we reach our goal!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)