By Roseanna Renaud
Sometimes a call to action can yield extraordinary results. A week ago, while at the Inland Theater for the Potter Family Christmas Concert, Gary and Kathy Rayhill learned something that troubled them deeply. The movie industry has gone to an all-digital format and very soon theaters will not be able to obtain 35mm films.
The historic 72-year-old Inland Theater would have to close some time next year if money could not be raised for a digital projector and sound system, at a cost of around $80,000.
The Inland is not alone, as small-town theaters across the country find themselves scrambling for solutions and funding. Recently, the Pix Theater in Winner began showing digital movies after the community and Rotary Club raised funds, bought a digital projector, and leased the equipment to the Pix owner for $1 per year.
Losing Martin’s Main Street treasure was unacceptable to the Rayhill family. So they decided to raffle off one of Kathy’s amazing creations, an intricately designed turquoise, gold, and russet-red Southwestern-style quilt and draw the winner’s name at the Martin Area Chamber’s Holiday Craft Fair on December 1.
Gary kicked it into high gear and quickly covered the town with the quilt, and his finest powers of persuasion. Lacreek Electric took home the prize after the Parade of Lights, and the Rayhill’s generous project netted $2,200 for the Friends of the Inland Theater, a non-profit set up earlier this year to help the Inland with preservation and digital conversion.
Individuals, groups, and organizations that would like to help the Inland may contact any member of the FIT Board for information. A presentation is available for those who would like to learn more. Contact Roseanna Renaud at 685-6143 or email@example.com. Visit the Friends of the Inland Theater on Facebook.
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