Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 28, 2013.

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We're upgrading! We need to add digital projection and a new HVAC system—to keep it cool and to bring you the best films around!

The Brattle Theatre is ready for its Kickstarter close-up.

Maybe you know us as the premiere arthouse cinema in the Greater Boston area.

Maybe you know us as an historic institution in Harvard Square.

Either way, there’s been no place like the Brattle, for the past 60 years.

To prepare us for the next 60, we’re depending on the kindness of strangers (and loved ones!) That’s where you come in. We’re hoping you, Kickstarter’s heroes, are gonna go ahead and make our day to realize two big upgrades to our theater.

With the success of this campaign we will be able to upgrade the theater’s HVAC system and install digital projection so we can continue to provide the most diverse range of films possible and keep up with changes in the industry.

1. DCP (fancy term for a digital projector): Life moves pretty fast. If you’ve stopped and looked around recently, you’ve probably realized the movie industry is moving away from film per se, and toward digital technologies. Don’t worry! We will still show 35mm as much as possible, but as much as we like showing this format, many of the new films and restorations of classic films are only being provided in digital format now. So DCP is a necessary addition. But it’ll cost us $90k to do it right.

2. HVAC (fancy term for keeping the theater cozy regardless of the weather): Our heating and cooling system is on its last legs so we need to put in a new comfort control system (a 20 ton air handler). And it’ll be an efficient one, so we won’t burn 1.21 gigawatts of electricity just for your viewing pleasure. The new HVAC will set us back another $50k.

Here’s our 35 projector.

Our rare, rear-screen 35mm projector
Our rare, rear-screen 35mm projector

Here’s our old HVAC.

Our current HVAC system. Yup, needs some serious help.
Our current HVAC system. Yup, needs some serious help.

Yeah, now you see what we’re up against. If you’re still not convinced, check out the FAQ below.

Why should you support us?

Because frankly, my dear, we know you give a damn.

But if that’s not enough, we’ve got offers you can’t refuse—check out the great rewards stacked up to the right. (To sweeten the pot, a portion of your pledge is tax-deductible. We'll send you a receipt for tax purposes.) Some of them are perfect for our local friends, or for those who have local friends. But others are equally awesome, whether you’re in Cambridge or Kansas.

So hey girl, help send the Brattle over the rainbow, where everything is perfect—just like Ryan Gosling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this campaign so critical?
The image and the space. Those are the two most important parts of running a cinema. And both of them are in serious need of updating at the Brattle.

The Brattle has seen many changes in the industry over the past 60 years. And against all odds it has survived. It survived the rise of television, the invention of home video, the rise of the multi-plex and competition from on-demand viewing. Now, we are faced with the challenge of digital projection, a complete paradigm shift in the way films are presented. Which means that our entire projection system has to be upgraded to accommodate this new format.

Today, filmmakers and distributors are choosing to forgo making 35mm prints and making their films available digitally. And this is for classic film restorations as well as new releases. This year, it has become clear that we need to upgrade our projection systems in order to continue to screen the diverse selection of films that the Brattle is known for. And that means updating to a digital projection system that will provide the best screening quality and will be up to current industry standards.  

For our HVAC system, it is simply getting old. This system heats and cools our 4,800 square foot cinema space. The unit is past its useful service life, works inefficiently, intermittently and is in imminent danger of failing.

Neither of these are small projects. And they both have to be completed this year.

Tell me more about the Brattle Film Foundation?
The Brattle Film Foundation celebrates film as a popular and fine art form with cultural and historic importance that excites, educates and inspires community. We provide year-round film and cultural programs at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. Our programs include repertory series, premieres, film festivals and special guest speakers.

Our goal is to provide a diverse palette of films for the Greater Boston community and access to films that the community would not otherwise be able to view in a cinema. Our major focuses are: classic American motion pictures, contemporary independent films and world cinema of all decades.

In 2001, the BFF was formed to take over the programming and operations of the Brattle, a single-screen repertory cinema that has been in operation since 1953. Our goal is to preserve this local cultural landmark and ensure that it remains the community resource it has been for nearly 60 years. The BFF carefully selects its films from mainstream distributors, studio archives, independent distributors, film collectors and directly from filmmakers themselves.

We keep a close eye on new film movements, film festivals, film preservation projects and the work of local filmmakers to program an innovative and diverse range of films for the community.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We have vendors lined up to complete the work so we know we will get this renovation done! But it will take some time. We’re working with our landlord to ensure there will be minimal disruption to other residents of the building, the community and our film programming.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    104 backers

    YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS: Your name will appear as part of a special pre-screening trailer before every regular screening for the next year. Plus we’ll acknowledge your donation on our website.

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    130 backers

    A NIGHT OUT: One movie ticket, a small popcorn and a regular soft drink. Plus "Your Name In Lights"

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    783 backers

    DATE NIGHT: A pair of tickets, a large popcorn and two regular soft drinks. Plus "Your Name In Lights"

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    25 backers

    VIDEO SHOUT OUT: Link to a special thank you video from our Creative Director, including a sneak peak of our unique rear-projection system. Plus "Your Name in Lights"

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    215 backers

    KEEPIN' IT COOL: Special edition T-shirt exclusively for Kickstarter donors. Plus "Your Name In Lights"

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    83 backers

    PINT & POSTER PACKAGE: Special edition Brattle poster, signed by the artist and our Creative Director, and a Brattle Theatre pint glass. Plus the "Video Shout Out" AND "Your Name In Lights"

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    240 backers

    KEEPIN' IT LOCAL: Special edition T-shirt exclusively for Kickstarter donors. Plus the entire "Date Night" reward AND "Your Name in Lights"

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    43 backers

    KEEPIN' IT HOT: Brattle Theatre hoodie. Plus the special edition T-shirt AND "Your Name in Lights"

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    136 backers

    MEMBERS ONLY: A Regular membership to the Brattle Theatre and all its perks. Plus everything in the "Keeping It Cool" reward.

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    85 backers

    THE FULL SCHWAG: Brattle Theatre hoodie, pint glass, signed poster and special edition T-shirt PLUS "Your Name in Lights"

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    65 backers

    COOL MEMBERS ONLY: A Regular membership to the Brattle Theatre and its perks. Plus everything in the "The Full Schwag" reward.

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    37 backers

    DOUBLE MEMBERS: A Dual membership to the Brattle Theatre and all its perks Plus TWO of everything in the "Keeping It Cool" reward.

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    23 backers

    CELLULOID DREAMS PACKAGE: Everything in "The Full Schwag" package PLUS custom framing of your poster including 24 frames (1 second) of motion picture film.

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    15 backers

    COOL DOUBLE MEMBERS: A Dual membership to the Brattle Theatre and all its perks Plus TWO of everything in "The Full Schwag" package.

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    14 backers

    SPONSOR PACKAGE: An on screen advertisement for your company or your organization during our pre-show slide rotation for 6 months.

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    4 backers All gone!

    AN AUDIENCE WITH AMANDA PALMER AND NEIL GAIMAN: We're thrilled that the "patron saint of Twitter," Amanda Palmer and her lovely husband – and acclaimed best-selling author – Neil Gaiman, have offered to spend time with some lucky supporters of the Brattle. On May 18 & 19, Amanda and Neil will be doing a special program at the Brattle where they screen some of their favorite films. As a new perk for our Kickstarter campaign, you can be Neil and Amanda's Special Guest for one of these evenings. You'll get VIP seats during the screening and, before the films, they will take you to one of their favorite local haunts, talk about your favorite films and theirs, and probably scribble all over your CDs and books. Have a wonderful time with these two wonderful and talented individuals, and then enjoy VIP seating beside them at two films, one selected by Neil for Amanda, one selected by Amanda for Neil. There is a limit of 4 for this offer, 2 per day.

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    2 backers Limited (22 left of 24)

    BALCONY CLUB: We will reserve our balcony for you and up to 50 of your friends for one of our screenings. Plus free popcorn and fountain soda for all!

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    PROJECTIONIST-FOR-A-DAY: Hang out with our projectionist for a day of screenings in our one-of-a-kind rear-screen projection booth.

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    1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)

    CALENDAR GIRL/BOY: Your name and photo will be placed on the cover of one of our 2013 Brattle Theatre calendars. And you can select its color as well!

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    PROGRAMMER-FOR-A-DAY: You pick the film, subject to availability, and we’ll share your taste with the People’s Republic of Cambridge with one screening at the Brattle Theatre.

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    PRIVATE SCREENING: Screen a film of your choice for up to 200 of your friends. Plus free popcorn and fountain soda for all!

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    HOW ABOUT THEM APPPLES: Meet Matt Damon and John Lithgow! The 2013 Harvard Arts Medal ceremony will honor Matt Damon. Receive two tickets for prime reserved seating and a backstage meet-and-greet with Damon and Lithgow. Recognizing Matt Damon's significant artistic and philanthropic achievements, the event includes a conversation with Damon moderated by John Lithgow. Ceremony takes place Thursday, April 25 at 4:00 P.M. at Sander's Theater, Cambridge, MA.

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    1 backer All gone!

    SOME LIKE IT HOT: We will name our new HVAC system after you, your favorite character or your company.

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Funding period

- (36 days)