Friday, August 31, 2012

Little Art to be renovated

The Little Art Theatre has launched, “Lights, Camera, Action!” - a campaign to renovate the theatre.  Beloved by many, but struggling as many other independent theatres around the country, the Little Art became a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 2009.

The Little Art Theatre opened its doors in 1929, and has not had a major remodel in its 83-year history. The current seats were purchased used in 1987 and are now 36 years old.  The 35mm projectors date back to the1940s and the industry is rapidly phasing out 35mm film and going to an all-digital format, and so must the Little Art to stay in business.  This fact alone has forced the theatre to embrace a renovation, which will include new digital projection and sound, new seats, a new screen, increased floor incline for improved sight lines, new ADA restrooms and greater overall handicap accessibility plus hearing assistance.

“Basically, we have held this theatre together with creative ingenuity and duct tape for many years, “ said Executive Director, and former owner, Jenny Cowperthwaite who has worked at the theatre for over 30 years. “We hope that with new levels of comfort and accessibility we will attract new patrons and the return of those who found the theatre wasn’t meeting their needs, and in addition with digital technology we hope to broadcast live events, including opera; the latter being of particular interest to a significant number of our patrons and donors.”

The goal of the campaign is to raise $475,000.  The community has rallied around this effort with a gift from the Yellow Springs Community Foundation of $30,000 and the Morgan Family Foundation of $250,000.  In addition, the Board, staff, and generous members have contributed another $145,000.  “We are moved by the generosity of so many people, and feel hopeful about our ability to raise the final $50,000 from a few other foundations, and our ‘Name a Seat’ effort,” said Maureen Lynch, Board Chairperson.  Donors who make a donation of $500 can put their name, or the name of a loved one, on a seat.  All Donors will be recognized on screen in a list of Campaign Contributors.

“It is our hope that the funds will be raised by December 31, 2012, and that construction will begin in the spring of 2013,” said Cowperthwaite.  For more information go to the website at:

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