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Buffalo Grove Theater Seeks Public Support to Stay in Business

The theater is running a fundraiser to help it generate money to convert its films to digital technology.

Buffalo Grove Theater is asking for the community’s support as it works to raise the $300,000 it needs to remain open.

The money would cover the cost of the digital equipment that all theaters will soon require in order to show movies Traditional 35-millimeter film will be unavailable by the end of next year.

Buffalo Grove Theater still projects its movies with film. Owner Debbie Benjamin said she must raise the money by March, and have the new digital equipment in place soon after, to keep the five-screen theater open.

Otherwise, she said, “it’s basically a countdown to the end.”

To raise money, the theater is selling admission and concession packages. The offers, which range from $25 to $1,000, include admission tickets and refreshments. For instance, a supporter who pays $100 will receive 16 admission vouchers and four medium popcorn/two small drink combos.

"They're actually getting back more than they're giving," Benjamin said.

The vouchers will be issued at the end of April, and will be transferrable. Details about the offers are posted on the theater's website.

The admission tickets will carry no restrictions, so movie-goers will be able to use them for new releases and 3-D movies, Benjamin said.

Benjamin said she’s optimistic that the community will rally to save the theater. She hopes to reach the fundraising goal before March, she said.

If the goal is not met and the theater closes, donor contributions will be returned, she said.

Since the theater launched its fundraising campaign last week, it has raised about $700, Benjamin said.

“We’re kind of hoping that people who come here support us like they did the Barrington theater,” she said.

Independent theaters across the region have faced financial challenges recently. In Barrington, the owners of the historic Catlow Theater launched for its digital conversion. They received an outpouring of support from fans, who made donations through a fundraising website in August. They exceeded their goal is less than a week.

In Arlington Heights, Arlington Theaters closed in July after its owner was unable to negotiate a deal on a new lease and digital technology upgrades.

Meanwhile, the City of Highland Park shut down the Highland Park Theatre in May because it did not meet fire codes. The city, which owns the theater, has not yet decided whether to invest $90,000 to reopen the main screen.

For more information about Buffalo Grove Theater's campaign, visit the website or email movies@bgtheater.com.

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Buffalo Grove Theater October 31, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Thank you very much. There seems to be many people that have not been to the Theater since we took over and made all the changes that we have done. I hope your post and all the other ones by people that come here on a regular basis help.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 31, 2012 at 03:32 AM
KyleGLeddy, I am sorry you feel this way but we have upgraded the Theater in many ways in the past few years since we took it over. I think your comment is very uncalled for and I would bet that you have not been here for at least the last few years. If the people of BG came here since we took over the theater and did the all the work we have done so far to fix the place up then maybe we would have new seats instead of fixing what was here. The people complaining should maybe realize that if you don’t support a business then upgrades and changes take more time to complete. This Theater was a mess when we took it over but now it is NOT. I guess it is hard for some of the BG people to give second chance to a business that has helped support the community for years. As for the BG residents that do come here and support the Theater we Thank you for your business and support no and in the long run.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 31, 2012 at 03:35 AM
I am not a kid I have been very successful in helping Business that need it over the years. Please don't make comments about me when you don't know me what so ever. The first comment of the HJ shows that it is a good thing we cleaned up the place and got rid of the riff-raff.
Scott November 01, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Most of these people who bash the theater are the idiots who hide behind their keyboard anyhow. Yes the place used to be kind of sad in the past but it was $2 to see a movie. What do you want for $2? Since then the place has upped the price but it is a lot cleaner and nicer. The seats are typcial older theater seats. I don't really enjoy dumping half my paycheck to go to Regal to see a movie. If some of these people want the creme of the crop theater, then go to them and pay those prices. I can't say my family goes often but we go enough and I would love to see them stick around.
Buffalo Grove Theater November 03, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Thank you. We did and do still advertise and I am sorry that you didn't get to participate in any of the things we did. We had Sharp at the Theater from the Hawks to help us promote the Theater. I look forward to you giving us another try.

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