Arlington Times


‘Save the Olympic Theatre’ explores funding options

Arlington Times Reporter
February 13, 2013 · 9:24 AM

From left, Aspen and Sidney Vanderlaan joined their friend Matthew Kirchberg in enjoying the concessions and reclining seats at the Olympic Theatre during its Jan. 2 showing of ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.’ / File Photo

ARLINGTON — With its online fundraising campaign wrapping up at the end of the month, the “Save the Olympic Theatre” campaign is already exploring other options to bridge the funding gap for the 73-year-old movie theater in Arlington.

William Frankhouser manages the online promotions for Norma Pappas, owner and operator of the Olympic Theatre in Arlington, and he’s set up a website, a Facebook page, an email contact and a phone number for community members to learn more or get in touch with the organizers of the campaign to save the theater.

“Right now, what we’re looking to do is find a digital projector that we can rent, on the low end of pricing, so that we can extend our fundraising deadline for the projector that we would eventually purchase,” Frankhouser said. “The problem is that the number of film copies of the movies that studios are releasing anymore is going down, which means that multiple remaining film theaters are vying for fewer film copies, and an ever-increasing number of movies are being released digital-only, and not on film at all.”

In the meantime, the Olympic Theatre has started selling “Save the Olympic Theatre” stickers for $5 each, as well as setting out a collection bucket during showings.

“Every little thing helps,” Frankhouser said. “Norma said she set that bucket out one night and got $70. We’re even looking into printing ‘Save the Olympic Theatre’ T-shirts, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. The point is, we’re looking into all sorts of avenues.”

As of Feb. 7, the online fundraising campaign on www.indiegogo.com/savetheolympictheatre had raised $2,472 online, not counting sticker sales and donations made at the Olympic Theatre itself, but with a deadline of Feb. 28 for the Indiegogo campaign, Frankhouser is thinking about what could be done with whatever money is raised even if it doesn’t reach the campaign’s $30,000 goal.

“People have even talked about organizing a charity concert for the Olympic Theatre, but the problem there is that it’d take longer than the end of February to put together, so we’re thinking more of coming up with some smaller events before then,” Frankhouser said. “I’d hate to see this theater close, even if it’s just for a week, but Norma is really feeling the pinch.”

The “Save the Olympic Theatre” campaign has been meeting on an almost weekly basis recently at the Local Scoop restaurant in downtown Arlington, and for more information, you can log onto its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SaveTheOlympicTheatre.


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