The historic Columbian Theater, located in Astoria Oregon, is a second run theater that offers comfortable couch seating, locally brewed beer, wine and specialty pizza. Owned by the same folks who have run the Columbian Cafe for over 30 years, it was originally named the Riviera Theater, which first opened it's doors to the public on June 2, 1925. Now, almost 90 years later we are one of the few theaters in the area to still use the traditional 35 mm film reels and we continue to have a passionate connection to the integrity and romance of film and entertainment. Sadly, due to recent changes in the film industry, we are required to purchase a digital projector by the end of this summer.
The theater has managed to thrive over the last fifteen years while keeping our expenses at a minimum in order to keep the ticket prices affordable. However, the unexpected cost of buying a $50,000 digital projector just isn't in the budget. Not only do we keep our movie ticket prices low ($4 adults, $2 children) we have a long history of housing community events and local musical acts. From the bus loads of local school children on a field trip, shuffling in to watch a private screening of a favorite film, or as the location for a former employees wedding, the Columbian has been a mainstay for community events since it was taken over by current owner Jeanine Fairchild over a fifteen years ago. It was the perfect spot for the fundraiser to help the local roller derby team get up and skating, another for dog rescue after Katrina, another for money for a local boy's medical needs. We hosted cd release parties for bands Blind Pilot and Perhapst. Plus the debut of Astoria's most recent sensation, The Dragalution, lead by beloved Columbian Cafe employee of over 20 years, Marco Davis and cast by numerous employees and extended family. To lose the Columbian Theater would be a tremendous hit to the local music and artist community as well as the families and friends who have made decades of unforgettable memories within these walls. Help us keep the magic alive and the ticket prices cheap!
Digital projection equipment will allow us to continue to show movies with crystal-clear video and sound as well as alternative content that was not available on film. The new format will allow more film choice as well, as we won’t be waiting as long for an indie film to come our way, plus we can show more regional productions, as well as televised broadcasts! (Academy Awards anyone?)
Although we've taken great pride in our film presentation to date, digital technology has come of age and we need to adapt or perish. With your contribution we can make the industry required upgrades and continue to be a place for first dates and family memories for many years to come.
The city of Astoria has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, with the 25th anniversary of the Goonies film bringing about the Mayor's dedication of June 7th as Goonies Day. We were also the shooting location for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, Free Willy, Kindergarden Cop, The Ring 2 and Short Circuit to name a few. If you love films and want to support local businesses then we are the right Kickstarter fund for you!
With every donation we will include a piece of 35mm film and your name listed on our website as a contributor to the End of the Reel fund.
For those of you folks interested in making larger donations, please contact us for potential reward offerings.
Check back with us here or on our website for updates on events and new and upcoming reward packages.
Risks and challenges
Every project has risks and setbacks, in our case the main challenge we face is simply raising the money to buy the equipment we need and keep our doors open. Not only would closing our doors effect our entire community, as described above, but also the folks who have jobs at our establishment. From the ticket taker, the pizza chefs, the balcony bar tender and the teenagers who often find their first job behind our snack bar, saving money for that graduation trip, or books for their first college term. We all know how the job economy is these days, and though we are a small establishment, I can honestly tell you, there are few people in Astoria, in their 20's or 30's, who haven't found employment within these walls at some point in their lives. The Columbian Theater has created a sense of family that extends far beyond punching a time card and receiving a paycheck. We are there for each other and now we are asking for your support, so that we can continue to be here for each other and our community.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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