Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater is proud to announce its “Save Our Downtown Movies” campaign has raised $161,703, exceeding its $150,000 goal to convert two cinemas to digital projection. The U.S. movie industry is abandoning 35-millimeter film production after more than 100 years in favor of high-tech digital cinema. By summer 2013, all cinemas in America must be converted to digital or go out of business.
“I am truly humbled by and grateful for the community’s titanic wave of support to preserve the Majestic’s 87 year-old tradition of nightly movies,” said Jeffrey W. Gabel, founding executive director of the Majestic. “As far as I know, Gettysburg is the smallest community in Pennsylvania to so quickly raise the dollars needed to save their historic downtown movies. Independent movie theaters in Carlisle, Middletown, and Harrisburg are still struggling to raise their conversion funds. It proves that we’ve built a loyal audience for independent, award-winning films such as The Artist, The Iron Lady, The Help, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. As importantly, our movie goers also patronize downtown shops, restaurants, bars, and the borough parking garage.”
The Majestic launched its fundraising campaign in May 2012 at a meeting of its community advisory committee where members immediately pledged $32,000. Throughout the summer and into the fall, the committee solicited $99,950 from 32 gifts from friends and businesses. The committee is particularly grateful for major gifts from the Robert C. Hoffman Charitable Endowment Trust, the Thomas L. Cline Foundation, and the Margaret Trew Cline Foundation. Additionally, $29,753 was received from nearly 261 donations from 39 zip codes in nine states in response to nightly, in-theater, pre-recorded video appeals by Gabel.
Adam Birnbaum, the Majestic's film booker, who programs more than 30 historic theatres and 70 screens on the east coast remarked, "The Majestic's ‘Save Our Downtown Movies’ campaign was brilliantly executed; a well-timed, wisely planned effort, complete with a smart brochure and promotional pitch, including a terrific DVD pre-show announcement. I don't know of any other small town digital cinema campaign that succeeded on all cylinders with such speed and efficacy. It is a testament to the perfect marriage between the hard work and ingenuity of the Majestic team, and the amazing level of dedication and inspiring support provided by the community. It can be looked at as a blueprint model for other nonprofit cinemas trying to make the transition to digital cinema.”
The funds will be used to purchase two, top-of-the-line Christie Digital CP2220 Projection Systems, as well as a new digital light projector in the historic Majestic Theater for the Met HD Operas and summer classic film series. Any unspent monies or additional contributions will be placed in a restricted cinema account for future maintenance and upgrades. The new projection systems are expected to be installed later this spring.
Current members of the Majestic’s Community Advisory Committee include Suzanne Flynn of Gettysburg College, Lynda Glass of ACNB, Ron Hankey of ACNB, Wayne Hill of Gettysburg Construction Company, Wayne Lau of East Berlin, Jean LeGros of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, David LeVan of Battlefield Harley-Davidson, Bill Monahan of Monahan Funeral Home, Sharon Monahan, Fleischman & Walsh L.L.P., Dr. Cleveland Null of Null Dental, David Sites of Coldwell Banker, Dora Townsend, Tonya White of Knouse Foods, and Tom Wolf.
For more information or to make an on-line, tax-deductible gift to the Majestic Digital Cinema Campaign go to www.gettysburgmajestic.org, or pick up a donor brochure at the box office, 25 Carlisle Street in downtown Gettysburg.
The Majestic Theater at the Jennifer and David LeVan Performing Arts Center is owned and operated by Gettysburg College as a cultural treasure for its campus and the community.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Mike Baker, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6521.
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