The Roseland Theatre in Pana, Illinois, needs to convert to Digital Projectors or close.
In 2009, Jeff and Julie Eisentraut went on a date-night to a nearby theatre in Pana Illinois. The Eisentraut's already operated three other theatres in Central Illinois so this was a chance to see how other theatres in the area were doing. The Roseland Theatre of Pana was enchanting. Jeff and Julie met long-time owners Bill and Selma Horton and spent much of their night visiting about theatres. Jeff noticed the theatre was still running two projectors and carbon arcs for light. Very few theatres were still doing this, and furthermore, very few people in the industry know how to operate them. Jeff asked the Hortons who gave them a night off if they needed to go somewhere and they replied "we never go anywhere but here"
Jeff Eisentraut has been in theatres since 1971. He would go to work with his brother who was the manager of the Capri theatre in Des Moines, Iowa. At that time, all theatres were 2 projectors and carbon arcs. Jeff learned how to operate these projectors and became an accomplished projectionist. A few months after meeting the Hortons, Jeff got a call from Selma advising him that Bill had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and was having trouble operating the projectors. Jeff and Julie immediately volunteered to help them every weekend. At first Bill did all the work himself. As the weeks passed, Bill would let Jeff Do more and more until one week Bill was unable to get out of the car and Jeff ran the projectors alone. Bill passed away the next week. If you watch the attached video you will see a great picture of Bill and Selma under the Roseland Boxoffice. Selma and her family decided to offer the Roseland to the Eisentrauts and an agreement was reached which was mutually beneficial. The Theatre has remained open since and The Eisentrauts have upgraded several areas of the theatre including all new HVAC and a newly remodeled lobby and entrance.
The End of film is near! Hollywood movie studios have advised theatre owners that by the end of 2013, 35mm film will no longer be made and distributed to theatres. Instead, movies will now be sent in a digital format which requires new projection equipment. The Roseland is in need of this new technology to stay open. The bids to purchase and install this new equipment came in at $51,937.23. Eisentraut Theatres hopes to raise $40,000.00 to help with the conversion costs and guarantee the Roseland will stay open for generations to come.
If the fundraising campaign is successful, installation will start on the first week of August 2013.
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We are confident that we are ready for this conversion. We have electricians ready for any necessary upgrades and we have signed an agreement to purchase the equipment if our funding works out. Anything can happen and usually does but we will be ready to address any problems which may arise.
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