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Theater fundraising falls short
An online fundraising campaign failed to meet expectations, but owner Mike Wilkinson is not giving up on the Colusa Theatre just yet.
The latest development in the theater saga comes out of Rancho Cordova, where Barco — a global technology company and major manufacturer of digital cinema projectors — has offered its support in modernizing Colusa's historic one screen theater.
"They saw the story (about the theater) on the Sacramento news station and offered their support," Wilkinson said on Thursday.
"They have offered to install a brand new, state of the art system for around $40,000. I was initially looking at used systems, not necessarily top of the line ones, that were going to cost around $60,000," he said.
Wilkinson said that the money raised at a November fundraising party, combined with the online Kickstarter pledges and a recent $5,000 donation from Colusa Rotary Club brings the amount raised to $25,000.
At this point, the Kickstarter funds are not a certain thing. The goal for the campaign was not met, meaning that those who donated are not obligated to make good on their pledges.
Nevertheless, Wilkinson has been calling those who pledged to see if he can still count on their generosity in light of the new developments. He also said that the tiered rewards for donations on Kickstarter will still be available.
'Desolation of Smaug' likely marks last 'film'
In the midst of his well-documented fundraising efforts to bring the theater into the digital age, Wilkinson has been doing his best to get those last few movies which studios are still producing in 35 mm film. That has proved to be a difficult task.
"I had really planned on having the new "Hunger Games," but that didn't work out," Wilkinson said. "They told us we weren't going to be able to get it, then we had it worked out that we were going to get it and then they backed out at the last minute. That killed me. I was really banking on getting the movie."
Rather than dwell on missing a chance at the "Hunger Games" sequel, Wilkinson focused his attention on getting "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug" which first showed Friday as a midnight premiere. Wilkinson may have secured the film, but he described the process as being laden with inconveniences.
"They just make it so inconvenient, and they hope you'll just quit trying," he said.
"The movie has been getting mixed reviews, so I'm hoping it does well," Wilkinson said.
He added that getting the movie wiped out all of the money the theater had to spend from its regular budget without touching any of the fundraising money.
"No way I'm doing that," Wilkinson said. "But my eggs are pretty much all in this basket. ... Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
Regardless of how "Desolation of Smaug" performs in the Colusa Theatre, it will likely be the last "film" shown at the Market Street business.
The Save The Theatre website displays the update "One Last Film: The theater has been able to get 'The Hobbit' to show as its probable swan song in the realm of projected film."
Whether that "swan song" will apply to projected film or the theater itself remains to be seen, but for now, show times for "The Hobbit" are displayed on the theater's marquee and can also be found online at peerlessentertainment.com.
CONTACT reporter Brian Pearson at 713-9519.