On Sunday Feb. 2, the Friends of the Paradise Theatre announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the digital projection upgrade needed to continue running movies in the North Fork Valley.
It's no secret that worldwide the motion picture industry has converted to digital projection.
The 35mm film will no longer be available, making the projector currently at the Paradise obsolete.
In 2013, the Friends of the Paradise Theater worked hard to keep the theater open. With amazing contributions from Amy DeLuca, the doors have stayed open and the community has enjoyed some great programs. The Paonia Chamber of Commerce board led by Alexis Halbert kept the business alive. Rob Miller, Craig Childs, Merrily Talbott and the Strolling Scones brought great entertainment. It took a lot of work to staff, promote and maintain the theater.
Now the Friends have decided that it is time to tackle the "Big One." As of 2014, movies will be in digital format. The Paradise Theatre will need a digital projection system to run movies and provide live streaming. This is about a $60,000 proposition. Without it the theater closes down. No ifs, ands or buts.
Kickstarter.com is a way to raise funds using social networks. That means the Friends need people in our community to reach out to friends and family and folks who have visited the North Fork Valley. You don't need to ask them for money; just ask them to go to the Kickstarter page for the Paradise, watch the video, read the information and decide for themselves. Millions of dollars have been successfully raised for many different campaigns. For example, Salida just raised over $50,000 to fund its digital conversion.
The Paradise has been selected by the State of Colorado's Save our Screens program to receive a $20,000 grant toward the digital projection. They understand how important community centers like theaters can be to provide a place that brings people together. They also understand that places like theaters help other business thrive by giving residents and visitors a reason to come into town.
Here's what you can do —
1. Go to the KickStarter link https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paradise-theatre/paonia-paradise-digital-or-dark, and contribute what you can.
2. Start talking about the Paradise KickStarter Campaign. Tell your friends and neighbors how important the Paradise is to your community. Send them the link address.
3. Use email, Facebook, and word-of-mouth to tell at least 10 people you know about the project. Include the link.
There will be folks who are suspicious about using their credit card online. You can use the good old-fashioned way and contact the Friends of the Paradise at 527-3886 or send cash or check to PO Box 886, Paonia, CO 81428 and let the Friends enter your information so you can still be eligible for Kickstarter rewards.
The Friends of the Paradise Theatre formed in 2013 to find solutions to keep the theater open and alive. More information is available at www.paradiseofpaonia.com or email paradisetheaterinfo