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Historic Wilmette Theatre To Stay Open After Getting Second Digital Projector

Wilmette Theatre (courtesy: Kickstarter)

Wilmette Theatre (courtesy: Kickstarter)

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WILMETTE, Ill. (CBS) – The show will go on, following a month-long fund-raising drive to allow the century-old Wilmette Theatre to go digital.

Carole Dibo, the theater’s director of education and artistic development, said the facility ran 35-millimeter prints for as long as it could. She expected the supply of prints to dry up in January, but she said the last first-run prints were shown in early March.

Since then?

“They’ve been non-existent,” she said.

Wilmette Theatre Fundraiser Nets $87K

filmreel Historic Wilmette Theatre To Stay Open After Getting Second Digital Projector
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The theater was able to purchase one digital projection system late last year thanks to a gift, but that wasn’t enough to generate the ticket sales needed to keep the doors open.

The theater’s goal was to raise $70,000 in a month, ending at midnight Wednesday, to equip the second screen digitally. As of 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, it had raised $87,436.

Dibo said the not-for-profit theater will put the extra money to use doing long overdue tuckpointing on the building, and updating the restrooms.

One thing is constant at the Wilmette, though. Dibo said fundraising will continue through 2014 to make improvements to the historic theater, although she said it is not likely to take the form of a Kickstarter campaign similar to the drive that ended Wednesday.

Installation of the new digital projection system in the second theater is expected to be completed in about three weeks.