If you love going to the movies as I do, you probably find The State Theatre in downtown Modesto a delight. The choices usually include current films that are getting very good reviews but dont have the box office appeal of the blockbusters that make it to our bigger movie houses.
Additionally, lots of great old movies are offered at The State for those of us who might wish to see them again on a larger screen rather than on a TV at home.
But friends, The State Theatre has a huge financial burden and the communitys help is really needed and soon.
The movie industry is converting to digital for presenting new films to movie houses. That conversion is almost complete. Rather than the 35mm celluloid print used in the past, the industry is converting to downloads over the internet. Paramount announced this week that it would no longer distribute new movies on film.
So our theater has upgraded all of its projection equipment at a cost of $200,000. Thats what it cost to buy a new server, upgraded cables, wiring and even to retrofit the building. By not upgrading, The State would have been severely limited in its films choices. To learn more about this predicament, you can visit The State's website to see a comprehensive list of the new requirement the State had to buy to meet the industry standard.
The upside is that the films we will see at The State is now getting first-run films shortly after their release. When they come on the screen the color and clarity and sound is exceptional. Fortunately, the theater upgraded its cinema sound system last year and now the equipment works in concert. As an example, during a recent showing of All Is Lost, my seat seemed to shake at certain exciting moments.
But The State is still $25,000 short. Though weve done an amazing job of fund-raising, thats still a chunk of change, said executive director Sue Richardson. It was essential that the State made this upgrade. If not, it would have been extremely limited in the films it could offer, and that would crimp the theaters income.
So, our precious theater still needs assistance. There are several ways to help one-time donations or monthly contributions through PayPal or you can make a gift via check and credit card.
Visit The State website to learn how to donate. Or send a check to The State Theatre, Digital Conversaion, P.O. Box 1492, Modesto, CA 95353. If you would like more information, call executive director Sue Richardson at (209) 527-4697.
If you are concerned that your donation will be spent entirely on the conversion, rest assured that no administrative costs are included. This $200,000 expense is an enormous amount for our small, privately funded nonprofit facility. Well keep you posted.
Kopf is a community columnist; contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.