Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 14, 2013.

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New pledges are still welcome to help us optimize your filmgoing experience and spruce up our cozy theater!

The CinemaSalem Miracle You did it -- you helped us reached our goal in only 12 days!

If you've come here to make a pledge, you can still do it, up until January 14! With a 30-year-old facility, additional pledges can underwrite significant improvement in your filmgoing experience. For example, for an additional $8,000, we can dramatically upgrade our audio system (from analog to digital) and integrate powerful subwoofers into all three auditoriums' surround sound systems. You will notice a difference! (Target total of $68,000)

With another $10,000, we can also upgrade two of our screens to make them 24% brighter (we’ve already upgraded one screen). (Target total of $78,000)

And if we really hit the ball out of the ballpark, with another $6,000, we can repair and update our marquee sign on Church Street. (Full disclosure: the picture above was Photoshopped.) The current sign was installed in 1982, and the translucent materials are faded and brittle. (Target total of $84,000). 

With about a month left on our Kickstarter campaign, be assured that any additional money will be applied to making CinemaSalem a more beautiful, comfy, and technologically-advanced downtown movie theater.

Now and in the future, we're going to offer "backer-only" specials to honor your investment in CinemaSalem. The first special "backer-only" freebie will be an awesome free screening early next year. The movie admission plus all the popcorn and fountain beverages will be totally free for Kickstarter backers. We'll also be including a "We Helped Save CinemaSalem" bumpersticker with every prize we send out, so you can proudly tout your accomplishment.

The CinemaSalem Story Since we opened in 2006, we’ve become the North Shore’s community movie theater, winning Best of the North Shore Readers’ Choice awards for four straight years, awarding more than $40,000 in CinemaSalem Grants to innovative non-profit organizations, and regularly hosting film screenings for local filmmakers, arts organizations, and community groups. We’ve built a loyal audience for our mainstream films, provided a venue for art house, indies, and fringe fare in our Screening Room, and helped create one of America’s leading all-documentary film festivals, the Salem Film Fest.

CinemaSalem is a safe place for people of all ages to come and watch a movie.  Hundreds of North Shore kids have celebrated their birthdays with a party at CinemaSalem. At least two couples who met at our theater are now married. We encourage school groups to come for field trips, and we offer Baby and Me shows every Monday morning.

Baby and Me screenings on Monday mornings are very popular.
Baby and Me screenings on Monday mornings are very popular.

We’ve pioneered free screenings of important pop culture events, like the final season of Lost, and have hosted musical concerts and the emerging cult classic, Scary Mary and the Audio Corsette. Four years ago, prompted by a customer suggestion, we were the only movie theater in the country to invite the community for a free screening of the Obama Inauguration.

The Big Plot Twist The movie industry is changing, and CinemaSalem is going to change with it. In 2013, the Hollywood movie studios will stop distributing movies on film, replacing that 100-year-old technology with digital projection. Over the next few months, Salem’s downtown community movie theater will to convert to digital projection, thanks to generous and passionate Kickstarter backers. If they hadn't stepped up, we wouldn't be in business a year from now.

The 100 years of film projection in theaters is ending.
The 100 years of film projection in theaters is ending.

The Good News We’ve negotiated with a top equipment provider to install state-of-the-art 4k digital projectors at CinemaSalem. The total cost of this conversion is $210,000, and the studios have agreed to finance $150,000 through Virtual Print Fees, -- payments made to movie theaters each time a film is booked. 

The CinemaSalem Campaign started on December 8 and will end on January 14.

In the first 12 days of our campaign, we raised the final $60,000 with our “Save CinemaSalem” fundraising campaign! Though we reached the target, we intend to use the rest of the campaign duration to raise as much fun as funds, and we’re scheduling several special events, free film screenings, and Café specials to make it festive. If you'd like to be part of this tremendous community success story, you can still make a pledge, and we'll include you in our regular "backer-only" special offers.

Lots of comfy places to sit.
Lots of comfy places to sit.

Worth Saving From the beginning, we’ve been a community-oriented movie theater. We want our patrons to think of this as their own cinema, influenced by their tastes and reflecting their values. With a quietly serene lobby (which doubles as an art gallery) and lots of places to sit and chat, we encourage film lovers to discuss their perspectives on films. Whether those are one-on-one conversations or Q&As with 200 people, we want to our theater to foster connection and community.

CinemaSalem is the only downtown first-run movie theater on the North Shore, presenting the best films on the day they’re released. Every Friday and Saturday (or Thursday night at midnight for huge films), we’re the only place to be to experience the state-of-the-art of American popular culture. CinemaSalem is where costumed Muggles waited in line to see the final five Harry Potter films on the big screen, where kids stream in to see Brave, and a sold-out crowd cheered for the Salem Film Fest masterpiece, Life. Support. Music. And our downtown location allows film lovers to conveniently enjoy Salem’s great restaurants, night life, and the cultural treasures of the PEM.

Soldout crowd enjoys Kinshasa Symphony at the Salem Film Fest. [Matt Soule Photo]
Soldout crowd enjoys Kinshasa Symphony at the Salem Film Fest. [Matt Soule Photo]

Add in our home-grown, locally-focused destination films (The True 1692, The Spirit of Salem, This Perfect Place, and the upcoming The History of Halloween), as well as a lobby art gallery, Café, and collaboration with many community groups, CinemaSalem may represent the future of the American movie theater.

Things to Know. If you're from out-of-town or overseas and you'd like to support CinemaSalem even though you won't have the opportunity to utilize the rewards, just let us know and we will donate the reward in your name to a local youth-oriented nonprofit organization, for whom free movie tickets and popcorn will be awesomely exciting.

Will converting to digital mean that CinemaSalem will be around forever? Installing digital cinema will ensure that we can continue to book the great selection of first-run and art house films you expect at our theater. But we will always need audiences to support the theater, purchasing tickets and concessions, to ensure our financial viability.

Digital cinema is different from 3D! We currently show some movies in 3D on film, and we probably will show movies in the future in digital 3D, if this campaign succeeds. But converting to digital does not mean that every film will be in 3D.

CinemaSalem is not a non-profit organization, so contributions to this campaign are not tax-deductible. But they do help ensure that CinemaSalem will remain a thriving part of Salem's downtown.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our equipment supplier assures us that, if we raise the $60,000, they will install new 4k digital projectors at CinemaSalem. If we raise more than our target, we'll use this opportunity to upgrade audio components in the booth, and to generally improve the movie-going experience. Throughout the process of conversion, we will communicate with our backers transparently and regularly.

Over the course of our six-plus years in business, we've developed great relationships with the downtown Salem business community, in the local filmmaking community, with neighboring museums and colleges, and with other movie theaters locally. Here's an example: when our popcorn machine suddenly broke one weekend, Hollywood Hits in Danvers provided us with popcorn for free until it was fixed. We've worked to reciprocate with them and also to interact generously with other organizations who find themselves needing something we can provide.

Does this mean that no obstacle will arise during this digital conversion? No, but it does mean that we're part of a community that will help us work creatively and collaboratively toward a solution.

We'll keep you updated as we work toward the transition to digital. In the meantime, thanks for helping save CinemaSalem!

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    116 backers

    You will be thanked by name on our website and on the big screen as a CinemaSalem backer! In fact, we'll thank you right now for your personal awesomeness: "Thank you for your personal awesomeness!"

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    112 backers

    All of the above + You will receive one free large popcorn.

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    183 backers

    All of the above + You've earned an additional free large popcorn (two total), plus one second (24 frames) of actual 35mm film as a reminder of the magic of the movies.

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    215 backers

    Wow, thanks for even considering a donation of this size. All of the above + Two free movie admission passes and two free large drinks.

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    2 backers

    Step Up Reward! About one-quarter of our supporters have pledged at the $50 level, and we'd like to offer a tempting opportunity to step up with an additional $25. Your reward will be all the $50 rewards plus one free single admission pass to the Salem Film Fest, plus an additional free large popcorn and large fountain beverage. (Note: these special "Step Up" rewards are not included in larger pledge "All of the above" rewards.) Enjoy one of the world's best documentary films with a delicious popcorn and beverage! So step up today!

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    200 backers

    This is serious money! All of the above + Two free single admission passes to the world's best all-documentary film festivals, the Salem Film Fest (March 7-14, 2012). In addition, the name of every backer who contributes $100 or more will be honored on a plaque mounted permanently in our lobby.

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  • Pledge $125 or more
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    3 backers

    Step Up Reward! Another one-quarter of our supporters have pledged at the $100 level, and we'd like to offer a tempting opportunity to step up with an additional $25. Your reward will be all the $100 rewards plus two additional free single admission passes to the Salem Film Fest. (Note: these special "Step Up" rewards are not included in larger pledge "All of the above" rewards.) The Salem Film Fest features the world's best documentary films! So step up today!

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    16 backers

    Thanks for considering this big gift! All of the above + Two free deluxe Salem Film Fest collectible coffee mugs, as well as two free single admission passes to this, the world's best all-documentary film festival, the Salem Film Fest.

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    20 backers

    Thank you for considering this level contribution, Mr. Trump. All of the above + Two luxuriant CinemaSalem T-shirts AND the free CinemaSalem individual passes and free large drink and large popcorn have DOUBLED to four of each!

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    14 backers

    Thank you for perusing our Kickstarter page, Mr. Gates. The rewards that you and Melinda will share at this level are all of the above + The number of free CinemaSalem admission passes, popcorn, and fountain soda has jumped to six!

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  • Pledge $350 or more
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    7 backers

    All of the above + The number of individual passes to CinemaSalem movies has increased to 10! As have the number of large popcorns and fountain sodas. You can now come to the movies with nine of your friends, and they'll be really grateful, like us.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    11 backers

    All of the above + A free three-hour private movie screening in our 20-seat Screening Room, or our 35-person capacity CinemaSalem Café. (Don't forget the permanent plaque recognition for donors of $100 or more!)

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  • Pledge $600 or more
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    3 backers

    Mark Cuban has requested a reward level which would be of interest to entrepreneurs and innovative marketers, so this contribution earns you a free 10-second screen ad in our popular pre-movie show, promoting your company or organization for three months (slides are shown before every single movie shown at CinemaSalem).

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  • Pledge $900 or more
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    0 backers

    Mark Cuban wants to know whether, if he gave $900, could he get his screen ad in the pre-movie show for six months. The answer is yes, and the offer is open to everyone, not just billionaires.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    2 backers

    Thank you for considering this generous level of donation, Tony Stark, and we're pleased to tell you that $1000 will earn you two CinemaSalem "Share Passes" good for half-price admission to unlimited movies at the theater for six months, plus free popcorn and fountain drinks each time you see a movie. You also receive two T-shirts, 24 frames of actual 35mm film, and our undying gratitude, expressed by placing your name on our website and onscreen and on the lobby plaque.

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  • Pledge $1,100 or more
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    1 backer

    If you love to throw parties, Martha Stewart, you'll enjoy the free weeknight (Sunday-Thursday) private CinemaSalem Blu-ray Party at which you can host up to 150 of your friends in one of our big theaters, including unlimited free popcorn and fountain drinks for everyone! You pick the blu-ray you'd like to show. The event starts at 7:30 in the CinemaSalem Café with free specialty coffee drinks (or you can bring your own beverages to serve). At 8:30 the action switches to one of our big auditoriums where you enjoy the big screen fun. Your event can be scheduled anytime in 2013.

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  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers

    Wow, who'd have thought that Mr. Buffett and Ms. Winfrey would have joined forces to contemplate this size contribution! At this awesome level, you earn two CinemaSalem "Full-Share Passes" good for unlimited completely free CinemaSalem movie admission (with free popcorn and fountain drinks) for you and an individual of your choosing, for an entire year. You also get two CinemaSalem T-shirts, four Salem Film Fest mugs, and an entire movie on 35mm film (several to choose from)!

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  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers

    Congratulations on your recent Powerball win! For $10,000 you get double everything at the $5,000 level: four "Full-Share Passes" for free admissions, popcorn, and soda for a full year, four T-shirts, eight Salem Film Fest mugs, and two entire movies on 35 mm film!

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Funding period

- (41 days)