CHICAGO (CBS) — The Antioch Theatre will live on, after being on the brink of being closed for good.
Tim Downey began a Kickstarter online fundraiser to generate the rest of the money needed for a $750,000 renovation of the 95-year-old single-screen movie theater.
Before the Kickstarter campaign began, $650,000 had been committed to a plan to renovate and repair the theater, with another $35,000 to come through sidewalk star sales and other promotions.
“Movie theaters are like heartbeats in downtowns. Once you lose them, they don’t come back,” Downey said.
After the theater closed in the spring, Downey was determined to get it renovated and reopened.
“I don’t live in Antioch, but I have some other investments in town. I care about the town. I recognize the love and affection that the residents in that town and surrounding communities have for Antioch, so I didn’t want it to go away,” he said.
His goal was to raise $65,000, but with more than a week remaining in the fundraiser, he’s surpassed that and now has more than $69,000.
Downey said the theater has touched the community, which is why the goal was met and then some.
Now he’s shooting for an extra $9,000 on Kickstarter for the next week or so, to be able to put in a 3-D projection system.
The renovation will also include a new façade, a new marquee, a heated sidewalk, and a smaller second theater that could be used for independent films and even birthday parties.
He’s hoping to have renovations complete and the theater open for first-run films around Christmas.