The Scoop

Hampton Arts Cinema Will Likely Close if It Doesn’t Get $95,000 in Pledges by Saturday

Thursday, 1:35 p.m.—Hampton Arts Cinema, the independent twin movie theater in Westhampton Beach, is far short of its Kickstarter goal with only 45 hours to go.

The theater launched the Kickstarter campaign in July, attempting to raise $125,000 to purchase a digital projector before the film industry switches to exclusively using digital distribution in 2015. The theater still uses projectors with reels of film, and it struggles to scrape by, let alone invest in new equipment. According to Hampton Arts employees, if it cannot raise the money for the new projection system, the theater will close.

In addition to getting new projectors, the theater stated that the landlord offered to bear the cost of updating the heating and ventilation system if the cinema stays in business. That would allow the theater to operate 12 months a year, rather than taking a break in the winter when heating costs skyrocket in the aged building.

Through Kickstarter, a crowdfunding website, the Hampton Arts Cinema has been promised $30,251 in pledges. But if it does not meet its $125,000 goal, it will not collect any of the money. Kickstart is an all-or-nothing program.

In exchange for pledges, Hampton Arts Cinema is offering a number of benefits, such as a large popcorn and soda for $10, 10 large popcorns and soda for $50, two VIP passes for unlimited movies and snacks during 2015 for $100, and eight VIP passed for $250. Larger pledges could earn a birthday party, a row in the backer’s name, an onscreen ad for a year or five years.

Pledges, as of this moment, total $30,251. That leaves $94,749 to go. The clock is ticking.

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