Operating a small arthouse cinema has never been an easy thing to do. More and more such theaters are operating as nonprofits rather than as commercial entities because of this reality, but even then, competition for donations and the few grants available for the arts is always high. Just like those in other fields, arthouse theaters are turning to unconventional methods of fundraising. A good local example is the Plimoth Cinema in Plymouth, Mass., which recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise at least half of the money needed to upgrade the theater to the standard digital cinema format required to show most of the new movies coming out these days.
“The industry has moved to digital cinema and we need to adapt to prevent what happened with the demise of the beloved but bedraggled Nickelodeon, says one of Plimoth Cinema’s founders Edward Russell, speaking of the Falmouth arthouse theater that closed not long ago.
As of this writing, the campaign has already raised over $25,000 (which was the minimum goal), but the project is expected to cost $48,000, so there is still fundraising to do. The Kickstarter campaign runs until Saturday, May 3rd if you want to help, and there are a number of perks you can get for donating. Have a look at the campaign here.
The Plimoth Cinema has a history of not only showing a range of foreign and independent films, but also bringing filmmakers to speak at the screenings of their films. For example, just a few months ago actor Chris Cooper came to talk about his work in August: Osage County, which screened at the theater. And this July, legendary independent filmmaker John Sayles will attend a screening of his 2013 film Go For Sisters.
“We like to add special events because it’s what our audience wants,” explains Russell. The theater will also be screening Maidentrip, a recent documentary about a teenaged girl who attempts to become the youngest person to sail around the world on her own. The screening will also feature a discussion with the filmmakers.
Loving cinema and keeping things local just go together. If you’re reading this before May 3rd, think about contributing to Plimoth Cinema’s crowdfunding campaign. If it’s after that, you can always donate directly at the cinema. And of course, going to see a movie there is a win-win for everybody.
Plimoth Cinema is located at the visitor center at Plimoth Plantation. To get there from the Cape, you need to take the Sagamore Bridge to Route 3, get off at Exit 5, then circle back onto Route 3 South and take the left-hand Exit 4 to Plimoth Plantation. For more detailed directions, tickets, and information, visit plimoth.org/plimoth-cinema.