CAÑON CITY, Colorado - The Skyline Theater in Cañon City is making the expensive conversion to digital using an increasingly popular fundraising tool. The theater raised enough money so they can keep the doors open.
Feeding film is as routine as it gets at Skyline Theater as employees prep for the evening's feature film. The film tubes are sent to the theater in crates, but that routine is about to change.
"It's been getting harder and harder to get any kind of film here because we are 35mm, because we're a small town," said Skyline Theater co-owner Linda Epperson.
A small town will throw out the old school and turn to the digital age. It's all thanks to Kickstarter.com: a fundraising website for businesses to collect donations from the community. In return, donators get a reward.
"For instance, our $25 pledge gave you two movie tickets plus a couple's combo which is actually worth $27," said Epperson.
Skyline has been part of Cañon City's downtown since 1908. It was first a playhouse then converted to a movie theater. The theater now belongs to Linda and her siblings after their mom bought it nearly 10 years ago.
"She passed away about a year and a half ago from cancer and all of us promised her that we would keep this one going for her," said Linda's sister and co-owner Karen Nothdurft.
Going digital guarantees that promise, they say.
"It makes us a viable business. We can stay here another 98 years on Main Street if we wanted to," said Epperson.
Skyline isn't the only theater suffering lately. Creekside Cinema in Cañon City closed its doors in June.
"It's Americana. It's a piece of Americana. To preserve it, means a lot to us," said Epperson.
With a digital system, all of the film will go away. It'll be more like a smaller machine where you would plug in a hard drive.
Through Kickstarter, skyline raised $40,000. $35,000 was their goal. Overachieving is something mom would be proud of.
"The community stepped up and now we get to keep her legacy alive," said Epperson.
Skyline plans on premiering its first digital movie on November 23 with "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire".
Skyline didn't anticipate paying for a digital sound system converter. So the owners are hoping for a few more donations to finish the digital conversion. The Kickstarter fundraiser has ended. However, High Country Bank is accepting donations for Skyline: (719) 276-2007.