If you have been following the Hawthorne Hotel blog for any length of time, you already know how much we love and support CinemaSalem. It is a unique business that adds much vibrancy to the downtown.
Interestingly, they are in a situation right now that makes me think about how the citizens of Salem built the Hawthorne Hotel. They came together because there was a need, and because there was leadership in the community that recognized that a first-class hotel would add much to the vibrancy of this small city. Since there was no hotel here at the time, they sold shares of stock and raised enough money to build the Hawthorne Hotel. Here are some photos of how that took place (they are all hanging in our Nathaniel's Restaurant.)
Thanks for being such a great friend to CinemaSalem over the past six years. Thanks for purchasing movie tickets, for munching on our popcorn, for sipping a delicious smoothie in our Café, and for looking at the local painter's work on our serene lobby walls.
Thanks for checking our listings first to see if the movie you're looking for is playing here, for hosting your daughter's birthday party here, for attending the Obama Inauguration or the Lost final show, and for inviting your out-of-town guests to watch The True 1692 or The Spirit of Salem or The Perfect Place.
You've not only kept our vibrant movie theater in business, you helped create a world-class documentary film festival, you've encouraged young filmmakers, you've helped underwrite scores of CinemaSalem Grants to local nonprofits, and you've helped create a walkable-to, fun and feisty sanctuary for the arts in downtown Salem.
So, as always, thanks for supporting CinemaSalem!
Right now we need to ask you to consider supporting us in a different way. The movie industry is changing and we need to change with it. During 2013, the Hollywood studios are phasing out distribution of movies on 35mm film, replacing it with digital projection from hard drives. If CinemaSalem does not convert to digital projection, sometime over the next 12 months, we'll run out of movies to show and we'll need to close down. Replacing our film projection system with digital will be very expensive, around $210,000 for CinemaSalem. Because of the high cost, many industry-watchers predict that thousands of local independent movie theaters will close during 2013.
However, we have some good news. The studios have agreed to finance $150,000 of the CinemaSalem conversion cost through Virtual Print Fees (VPFs), payments made by the studios to theaters each time a film is booked. The only challenge: in order to qualify for the $150,000, we need to raise the remaining $60,000 by January 14, which is why we've launched a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign called Save CinemaSalem.
The Kickstarter model has proven successful for many local movie theaters around the country, so we're optimistic about our chances of raising the money. Crowd funding can be spectacularly successful since it's fueled by personal relationships, communicated through social media, emails, friend-to-friend conversations, and fun live events.
Here's a link to our Save CinemaSalem Kickstarter site: CLICK HERE. You'll see that donors can make contributions at many dollar amounts, and each is accompanied by a reward, -- another fun and motivating aspect of crowd funding.
It's important to note that Kickstarter campaigns are "all or nothing"! That means we need to raise the full $60,000 by January 14, or we get no money at all. Even if we're just $100 short, we don't get anything. That adds a dramatic amount of urgency, but quite a bit of fun, too, I suppose.
If you'd like to help us, perhaps you could do two things: a) check out the Save CinemaSalem Kickstarter site and consider making a donation; b) let your friends and family know about the campaign, and let them know that you feel that CinemaSalem is an important and indispensable part of a vibrant community.
(Here is the list of premiums for the various levels)
To kick things off, we're hosting a free screening of the holiday classic, A Christmas Story, this Saturday morning at 10 am. It will be an awesome opportunity to celebrate the holidays, celebrate movies, and celebrate community!
Once again, thanks for supporting CinemaSalem!
Paul Van Ness