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The Cable Car Cinema needs to upgrade to a DCI compliant digital projection system for its film programming to remain relevant.
The Cable Car Cinema needs to upgrade to a DCI compliant digital projection system for its film programming to remain relevant.
681 backers pledged $54,581 to help bring this project to life.

About

The Cable Car Cinema and Cafe: Digital Transition project video thumbnail
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$54,581

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The Cable Car Cinema and Cafe has been screening great film since 1976.  Today the Cable Car is a creative meeting place that provides independent film programming focused on the diverse cultural interests of the Rhode Island community.

Cable Car Exterior
Cable Car Exterior

The Cable Car Cinema and Cafe has been an independent and family owned business since it was first opened by Ray Bilodeau thirty-five years ago.  It was converted from what used to be a truck garage and named after a classic cable car that was left behind but never repaired. From 1990-2007 - Eric Bilodeau, Ray's nephew, served as General Manager and with his strong emphasis on quality programming he cemented the cinema's reputation as a vital Providence cultural institution.  Under his direction, the Cable Car was named by Entertainment Weekly as one of the ten best cinemas in America.  

In 2008, husband and wife team, Daniel Kamil and Emily Steffian bought the business from Eric's father Al Bilodeau and they set out to build upon its solid reputation.  In 2009, the Cable Car was given the Marquee Award from Box Office Magazine and was designated as a National Marquee Theater for "its unique character, historic significance and continued commitment to excellence in film".

Grand re-opening of the Cable Car in the Fall of 2010
Grand re-opening of the Cable Car in the Fall of 2010
Cable Car Interior
Cable Car Interior


Staying true to its mission, the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe screens the most relevant films while collaborating with local organizations to attract a diverse and ever changing audience.  Our partners include: Brown University, The Rhode Island School of Design, The Providence French Film Festival, The Providence Children's Film Festival, The Providence Children's Museum, The Rhode Island Chapter of the ACLU, Firstworks Providence and Marc Allen Fine Clothiers among many others. In April, we will be hosting the Found vs. Found Tour, a collaboration between Found Magazine and The Found Footage Film Festival.

Marc Allen Party
Marc Allen Party

The Cable Car frequently hosts Q & A's with filmmakers.  Recently, we have held panel discussions on: Somewhere Between, The House I Live In, Funeral Kings, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, Paul Goodman Changed My Life and Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle, which have filled our space with lively debate.  Musicians Bela Fleck and Melissa auf der Maur have graced our theater with film and live music   And, in the fall of 2011, the Cable Car began screening opera and ballet from various theaters across Europe including the Bolshoi Ballet and La Scala Opera House.

Producer Melinda Shopsin and Providence Police Detective Fabio Zuena
Producer Melinda Shopsin and Providence Police Detective Fabio Zuena

Today the cinematic experience has a great deal of competition. Netflix, illegal downloading, and the increasing sophistication of home theaters threaten the old fashioned single screen art house. For this reason, Daniel and Emily embarked upon a major renovation in 2010 that included upgrades to the cinema and cafe. Local artists and designers were employed to create a unique atmosphere that will help keep and attract new customers. 

View from Projection Booth to Cafe
View from Projection Booth to Cafe

A new screen and cinema processor were added as well as the replacement of the beloved couches (which apparently have had a second, third, and fourth life in underground music venues in nearby Olneyville). Murals were commissioned to liven up the cinema walls and depict the eclectic essence of our city and state.

Mural by Buck Hastings
Mural by Buck Hastings

We are currently in our final phase of renovation which includes the digital upgrade of our projection equipment.

On November 9th, 2011 20th Century Fox sent the infamous "letter" indicating that they were no longer in the film business and urged exhibitors to upgrade to a DCI compliant digital projection system or risk no longer being able to play their movies. Focus Features, The Weinstein Company and the other major studios have essentially followed suit.  Ultimately, 35mm prints will be phased out or severely restricted and by the end of 2013 it will be increasingly more difficult for the Cable Car to obtain content without the proper equipment.  For film lovers - the sad news is that 35mm (the one-hundred-year-old medium of celluloid) will essentially be the domain of museums and film archives. Using a platter system the Cable Car has already had difficulty obtaining repertory titles and now that prints will become more rare - it will impossible. 

If interested in reading further about the digital transition we recommend these articles: 

http://www.deadline.com/2012/06/studios-will-stop-distributing-conventional-film-prints-here-by-end-of-2013-report/

http://gizmodo.com/5859863/report-35mm-projection-could-be-gone-by-2015

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cinemacon-2012-fox-35mm-john-fithian-chris-dodd-distribution-digital-exhibition-315688

So, in order to continue to showcase high quality, independent film and special events for another thirty-seven years, WE NEED YOUR HELP!  Please consider donating to the Cable Car Kickstarter Campaign.  We are offering some great rewards for your generosity including private screenings at the theater, limited edition posters, t-shirts and Italian lessons from our very own Cinzia Cittadino.

Cinzia - she'll teach you Italian!
Cinzia - she'll teach you Italian!
Kim - she'll knit you a hat
Kim - she'll knit you a hat
Is that Jude Law?  No...it's Chris Mulligan... he'll cook you a scumptuous meal.
Is that Jude Law? No...it's Chris Mulligan... he'll cook you a scumptuous meal.

(Special thanks to Jim Bernfield and Camilla Enders who did the voice over for our Kickstarter video, Justin Hawkins of Livingstone Studios, Monica Shinn, Caleb Siemon and Buck Hastings for their beautiful work on the interior of the Cable Car) 

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges surrounding the digital transition are minimal as management has done extensive research on equipment manufacturers and integrators. If the campaign is successful we expect to implement the upgrades in August 2013 but management understands that qualified technicians are in high demand and that we cannot control their schedules. So, it is not a question of IF (it will happen) but WHEN (it will happen).

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A 27" x 40" one-sheet of one of the many films the Cable Car has screened. Posters are slightly used and will be randomly selected and could include Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Chasing Ice, Arbitrage, Beware of Mr. Baker, etc. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    THE COFFEE CARD. This reward is geared towards our CAFE CUSTOMER. FIVE hot or cold coffee or tea drinks of choice.

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    40 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A Touch of Evil poster designed by Cyrus Highsmith. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    Reward no longer available 40 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SINGLES. One ticket. One bottomless popcorn. One drink of choice. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    89 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    LIMITED EDITION KICKSTARTER POSTER by Jesse LeDoux (Grammy nominated artist and art-director of Sub Pop Records). It will be fresh! Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    COUPLES. Two movie passes. Two boxes of unlimited popcorn. Two fountain drinks. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    89 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    STAFF REWARD: Italian lessons with Cinzia Cittadino. Because our staff is AWESOME. And INTERNATIONAL. She has offered two one-hour language lessons and she'll make you the nicest espresso this side of the Adriatic. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    LIMITED EDITION KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE: END OF 35mm T-SHIRT. Plus Two tickets. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    56 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    STAFF REWARD. Because she is CRAFTY and a NEEDLE WIZARD - Kim will knit you the HOTTEST winter beanie with a Cable Car motif. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE WURST GIFT CERTIFICATE: $50 gift certificate to be used at Chez Pascal or Wurst Kitchen. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year. Thanks Kristin and Matt.

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    ZEITGEIST/KIMSTIM REWARD. For our CINEPHILES! Our friends at ZEITGEIST FILMS & KIMSTIM are offering a DVD from their vast and beautifully curated film collection. It will also include one ticket, one bottomless popcorn and a drink. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    LIMITED EDITION KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE: END OF 35mm HOODIE. Plus Two tickets. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    16 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE GIFT BASKET: Cable Car Mug, Cable Car T-shirt (w/logo), Touch of Evil poster, Two tickets, Two boxes of bottomless popcorn, Two drinks. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    44 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    MAGNOLIA PICTURES REWARD. Our friends at Magnolia Pictures have graciously donated two New Release Blu-Rays. Visit www.magpcitures.com to see their roster of films to choose from. This reward level will also include two movie passes, two buckets of popcorn, two drinks. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    THE TENFOLD. Ten tickets. Ten bottomless boxes of popcorn. Ten drinks. This can be used as a group or ten separate times. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    22 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SPONSOR PACKAGE: On screen advertising for your business or non-profit for three months. Your logo will appear before all of our feature presentations.

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    6 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    THE GIFT BASKET + THE TENFOLD = OUR NEW BFF. Cable Car Mug, Cable Car T-Shirt (w/logo), Touch of Evil poster, Ten tickets. Ten bottomless buckets of popcorn. Ten drinks. And, donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    PRIVATE PARTY for your child, spouse or mother-in-law between 10am-1pm on Saturday or Sunday. Includes free popcorn and drinks for entire party. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    PRIVATE PARTY for up to 2-100 of your closest friends during a weekday evening (Monday-Thursday). Includes free popcorn and drinks for entire party. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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  20. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    STAFF REWARD: Dinner for 10 at the Cable Car catered by Renaissance Man and Lead Projectionist Chris Mulligan (if you haven't had his food - it will make you cry with delight). He sources everything locally. Also will include a private screening. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    CHIEF FILM CURATOR. Think you have the goods? We'll see. A four-day Monday-Thursday run of any film you can dream of. Subject to licensing rights and availability. Film curator's name to appear before the feature film of choice.

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  22. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    PRIVATE PARTY for up to 2-100 of your closest friends on Friday or Saturday night. Includes free popcorn and drinks for entire party. Donor name to appear before each feature film for one year.

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    2 backers
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  23. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE GOLDEN TICKET. This donation level gives you the owner's cell phone number and ability to call ahead and reserve a couch for any screenings at any time. Plus all merchandise listed above. Good for one year but our eternal gratitude.

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Funding period

- (39 days)