(Posted June 11, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The London State Theater is one giant step closer to reopening.
New proprietors Rob and Shannon Treynor got the support they were hoping for. The London residents hosted an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money to buy a new digital projector for the one-screen movie theater located on South Main Street. The public came through, donating a total of $40,100.
“It’s really evident that this is something that many people want to see succeed, and we’re going to do our darnedest to make sure that happens,” Rob said.
The couple needed $40,000 for the projector. The 60-day fundraiser started April 7 and ran through June 6. Rob said donations poured in early and late with a tapering off in the middle of the cycle.
“It was real nerve wracking for most of May,” he said. They continued to spread the word and, with time running out the last day, brought in the $5,000 they needed to hit their goal. “We’re so blown away by the support we’ve received from the town. It’s amazing.”
Of the money raised, a total of $10,000 came from five individuals or groups. The rest came from donors who gave an average of $50. Two-thirds of the $40,100 was raised via the online campaign; the remainder came through offline promotions and publicity. Anyone who gave at least $100 will have their name displayed on the big screen for a year.
“It’s humbling. We really can’t mess around here. People put their trust in us, and we have to deliver. We’re ready to do that,” Rob said.
The Treynors are investing their own money into the project, too, and are well into the renovation phase. They’ve ordered booths for dining seating in the lobby, installed a new hot water tank, and started painting the exterior. They’re experimenting with ideas for unique food options, shopping for art for the walls, and sourcing lighting fixtures. They’ve signed contracts with 20th Century Fox, Universal and all of the Hollywood movie companies in preparation for showing first-run movies.
The next major project is replacing the roof. The couple is working to secure a loan to cover the $30,000 expense.
“We’re hoping to be open before summer ends. Our target is late July,” Rob said.
The London State Theater is located at 67 S. Main St. For more information, go to www.londonstatetheater.com.