The Wilmette Theatre Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Complete Digital Conversion

The Wilmette Theatre is launching a 30-day fundraising campaign to preserve the future of 100-year-old theatre, April 1-30th.
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CHICAGO - April 1, 2014 - PRLog -- The Wilmette Theatre, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014, is facing a critical challenge to its future - the movie industry’s conversion from 35mm film to digital technology. Thanks to the Jerome Mirza Foundation, one of the two screens has already been converted. However, in order for the theatre to survive, the second screen must go digital. On April 1st, the theatre will launch a 30-day Kickstarter campaign which aims to raise $70,000 to purchase and install projection and sound equipment required to show digitally-encoded movies. Without the conversion, the theatre will be out of business.

Several years ago, in a rare act of unity, all the major movie studios came together and committed to copying and distributing their movies only in digital format, and no longer in 35 mm.
 All the major U.S. movie chains made the switch more than a year ago. The conversion has been much more difficult for small, independent theatres such as the Wilmette Theatre. One report estimates that approximately 1,000 independent theaters across the country will close because they can’t afford to make the switch. The Wilmette Theatre is a 501-(c)(3), not-for-profit theatre, which makes the cost of conversion even more onerous.

From April 1st- April 30th, theatre supporters can donate by visiting:

Donors will be offered a wide range of gifts (year-long movie pass, 3- or 6-month movie pass, Live Events pass, concession coupons, etc.) pinned to the various donation levels if the goal is met. Kickstarter campaigns operate under an “all-or-nothing” funding model. If the theatre doesn’t reach its $70,000 goal at the end of the 30 days, none of the pledged funds will be collected, in other words no one’s credit cards will be charged and no one is on the hook for their donation. If the goal is met, any additional funds pledged will go towards completing much needed structural updating and repairs to the aging building.

“The Wilmette Theatre must go digital or go dark,” said Fundraising Chair, Mike Flynn. “The math is simple.  Movies are a primary source of revenue for us and to get access to movies, we need the digital projectors.  So without the projectors, we face not having enough revenue to sustain the operations of this historic theatre. “

Two months ago, Candace Mirza, a Wilmette businesswoman and philanthropist generously donated money through the Jerome Mirza Foundation to convert the projector in one of the two theatres. “My focus with the foundation is to help give the capital to support and create cultural and social resources within our community," said Candace Mirza, daughter of Jerome Mirza and foundation board member. “The arts is a primary focus for me as it is something that everyone can partake in. The opportunity to support the theatre was something I was happy to do because we need to keep independent, small theatres alive and thriving. The Wilmette Theatre is a cultural center of Wilmette and of the North Shore that benefits everyone in the community. If we do not invest in it, we will lose it.”

"Thanks to the generosity of the Mirza Foundation, not only can we now show first-run movies on that screen, our patrons can attest that the picture and sound quality from the new projector is infinitely better than it was prior to the conversion!” said Linda MacLennan, Theatre Manager.

It’s critical to the financial future of the Wilmette Theatre that the second screen be converted as well. Pledge your support today by visiting

About The Wilmette Theatre:
The not-for-profit Wilmette Theater is the premiere multi-arts and performance center anchoring the downtown Wilmette business district by providing vibrant entertainment, education and enrichment for the community.  1122 Central Avenue, Wilmette, IL, 60091. | 847-251-7424.

Community sponsor: North Shore Community Bank
Media sponsor:  Make it Better

Media Contact
Shelly Cellak
Source:The Wilmette Theatre
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Tags:Kickstarter, Digital Conversion, Theatre, Wilmette Theatre, Preserve The Theatre
Industry:Arts, Entertainment
Location:Chicago - Illinois - United States
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