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This 1950s vintage 35-millimeter XeTRON projector, located upstairs in Indian Lake Theater, will be retired at the end of May. A digital movie projector will replace it. Beginning in September 2013 movies made in Hollywood will be available in digital format only, forcing theaters to make the change or go out of business. (Photo/Pete Klein)

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The little theater that can will

Saturday, May 11, 2013 - Updated: 7:59 AM

By PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

INDIAN LAKE - The last chance to see a 35 mm feature film at Indian Lake Theater here will be when Iron Man 3 plays Friday and Saturday, May 24 and 25; and Thursday, May 30, with the Art House Thursday presentation of Aqui y Alla.

But not to worry. Indian Lake Theater will be going digital starting the first weekend in June.

According to theater Business Manager Francis Armstrong, thanks to strong support from the community in the form of donations the little theater that continues to show it can is on track to staying open despite Hollywood's switch to digital.

A recent visit to the theater confirmed the good news, but the struggle continues, according to Armstrong. He provided a tour of the theater that included a visit to the upstairs projection room, where a 1950s vintage 35 mm XeTRON projector has been spinning the magic of Hollywood.

POOR TIMING

Armstrong said the $80,000 required for the change from film to digital came at a time when the theater was involved in a capital campaign to raise $124,000 for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, an improved entry, a new marquee, a new screen and a new roof.

The need to go digital brought the total needed to $204,000.

The capital campaign received a tremendous boost when the theater received a North Country Regional Economic Development Council $62,000 matching funds grant in December. Another big boost came from a private gift of $25,000, Armstrong said.

Armstrong said about $143,000 has been raised to date, leaving about $61,000 still needed. "No donation is too small," he added.

PROGRESS MADE

While the capital campaign will continue until all improvements are made, Armstrong said some important upgrades have been done with the funds already raised.

These include the new screen installed last fall and a new heating system installed this past winter. And let's not forget the critically needed digital projection system that starts up in June.

Work scheduled to begin this summer includes the new roof and work on the front of the building. The last piece of the capital campaign will be a new marquee.

CHANGE IS GOOD

Pocket change can help with Indian Lake Theater's conversion to a state-of-the-art projection system.

The theater will hold a Change Is Good campaign Saturday, May 25, from 12-3 p.m. to collect coins that will help purchase the new equipment.

Change is Good will collect coins from students, seniors, friends, neighbors and complete strangers for three hours May 25. Contributions will be weighed, and the heaviest donation will garner two free tickets and popcorn to the movies coming up in June.

By then the new technology will be in place in the 75-year-old cinema.

"May 25 isn't just about collecting change," says Executive Danielle Shaw. "Free popcorn, hot dogs, and live music by Alex Smith can be enjoyed during the afternoon."

Clean out a jar, the glove compartment, the bottom of a handbag. The best part: all this spare change will add up to real benefit for the community stage and screen.

To participate, roll that wheelbarrow, dump truck or piggy bank to the Indian Lake Theater between 12 and 3 p.m. Saturday, May 25, or contribute to one of the coin drops at local businesses.

     

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