5 HOURS LEFT: We ONLY need $2,000 to reach our total goal of $75,500 to upgrade both theaters!
Bethel is a small town in Western Maine that lost its only movie theater in 2012! Similar to hundreds of theaters across the country, the theater closed when faced with the prospect of converting to digital. Now families must drive an hour to spend an afternoon at the movies. But we have a solution….
Our mission is to build community, frame by frame. We envision The Gem as a community hub offering entertainment as well as a space for people to engage with art. Affordable tickets and diverse programming will make the theater accessible to all ages and interests. Access to many forms of arts and culture is limited in rural areas, yet film is not limited by geography. If there is a screen, there is access to the best film in the world. We want to bring the big screen back to Bethel because we believe film has the ability to inspire, educate, and bolster our community. When we started this project, we asked ourselves three questions:
1. Why a cinema? Because there is a vacant movie theater in downtown Bethel, ME, and the community misses it!
2. Why reopen it? A theater with a community focus would fill an entertainment need in Bethel, offer an avenue to support arts and area non-profits group, and boost economic activity in our small town.
3. Why us? We have the skills, vision and passion to create a community theater. After years of running a successful business from home, we are eager to start a public venture that will add to the vibrancy of the Bethel area community.
Let's Light Up The Gem!
We need $40,000 to convert one screen to digital and begin showing mainstream movies. But...we don't have to do this alone! Sunday River Ski Resort has put a generous challenge to the community - they will match up to $20,000 of pre-tickets sales!!
And, we did it!!! With 193 pledges, we raised $20,000 to light up one screen. Movies are coming back to Bethel! Is it possible we can convert two screens?
For an additional $35,500 (or 3,550 tickets) we can convert a second theater and increase the diversity of our programming. Imagine, with two digital screens...
- Parents can see a different movie from their kids!
- We show two blockbusters at the same time!
- Hold special event without having to close the entire theater!
- Live concerts or sporting events in a second theater?
Through website/theater ticket sales, donations, advertising, and events, we're only need an additional $2,000!
Current Reach Goal: With $34,500 pledged to kickstarter, we can convert both of the largest theater screens.
If you think you'll go to the movies at least ONCE, we need you to buy your ticket today!
- $10 and up: Movie tickets! Each movie pass includes a small popcorn. No expiration date. Tickets are printed!! They will be shipped to you on Dec 21st (or picked up at the theater). Want a different # of tickets? Send us a message! Need our tickets today? Buy them here.
- $55: Organic popcorn seasoning kit in magnetic jars by Gneiss Spice. Store your spice jars on your fridge, and with spices in sight you'll use them all the time! Gift idea for a movie lover. Check out product details and photos here.
- $150 and up: Winter or yearly Theater Supporter Membership for individuals and families. Include free entry to all regularly scheduled movies. We'll host seasonal members-only event each year, such as reserved screenings for new releases or wine & beer social hour (and we'd love more ideas). Membership will help your $$ go farther.
- DONE!!! $1500: Sponsor a new (and bigger!) popcorn machine. You get free popcorn forever.
- $2500: Own a piece of Bethel history with a reward of the old Casablanca Cinema building sign!
- Stephen King - we have a reward just for you! The word about town is that you and your mom used to frequent the old Casablanca (it's even written in a yelp review). Lovell isn't too far away — help us bring the movies back to western Maine! In a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, when asked what your money does for you, you replied, "I like to have money to buy books and go to movies and buy music and stuff." Consider helping us make a small town, community movie theater a reality.
You can just donate, too! Donations will go twice as far, as we won't have to pay movie commission fees on the tickets.
How You Can Help Us!
1) Pledge Now! Your monetary support will allow us to raise the capital needed for the digital conversion. In our rewards (right hand column), you can support us at different levels, starting from a single ticket! Not a local? Consider pledging to our Education Fund to sponsor field trips or pick up an organic popcorn seasoning kit! Remember - We have a stretch goal of $55,500 to upgrade two theaters!
2) Come to an Event! Throughout December, we have weekend fundraising events ranging from an all-day movie marathon, teen movie night and a kids Polar Express jammies party. We will conclude our fundraising campaign with a party and screening of Warren Miller's new ski film, Chasing Shadows!
3) Share this campaign!!!
Have experience with crowd-funding? Know someone that wants to help? Want to sponsor an event? Or, just recommend your favorite movie? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your support! We look forward to watching a movie with you….
~ Wade, Beth & Althea
Risks and challenges
Before purchasing the building, we leased for 2 months to assess the viability of the project, the functioning of the building and gauge community interest. Due to overwhelming public support, we feel confident this project will be successful - and that Bethel really does want a movie theater to return!
In terms of timing, we plan to purchase the digital equipment as soon as we receive the funds (takes 2 weeks after the campaign has closed). We already have a contract with the supplier - all we need to do is pay our deposit. From that point, it will take 3-4 weeks for the equipment to arrive and be installed!
As this is a local venture - we are accessible each weekend at the movie theater, as well as directly by email (email@example.com). Please contact us with any questions or advice.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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