Dim the lights and start the movie. The Roxy is going digital.
A community-based fund-raising drive led by some of its supporters has produced nearly $34,000.that will enable the Roxy Theater in Eatonville to convert to a digital film projection system and, as a result, stay in business.
Karen Woodcock, part of a community group called Save the Roxy, announced last week that the drive reached its goal virtually to the penny with a final push. The theater’s owners will cover the rest of the cost of replacing the reel-to-reel projection equipment of the 71-year-old moviehouse.
Without the new system, movie distributors who are going all-digital would stop sending first-run films to the Roxy and the theater would close, according to owners Mike Wood and Dean Wadell.
The first screening in the Roxy’s digital era will be May 24.
“We made it. Thaniks, Eatonville,” Woodcock said.
When Save the Roxy got started last fall, the goal was $70,000 for the conversion to digital projection. Later, Wood and Wadell told the group that if it could raise $30,000 to $35,000, they would come up with the rest.
Some donations came from longtime or former residents of Eatonville who have childhood memories of watching movies at the Roxy. One way to donate was to buy one of the small plaques mounted on the backs of theater seats with the names of the contributors.
During the fund-raising, Wood and Wadell promised they would return large individual contributions and give other donations to local charities if the drive came up short and the projection system couldn’t be modernized.
The Roxy has had different owners over the years.