LEWISBURG -- It's a sure sign of these digital times that when confronted with one digital headache, the answer may be a different digital remedy.
Consider the Lewis Theatre. The movie industry is phasing out 35-mm film, moving to all-digital projection. Unless the Lewis Theatre can raise $60,000 to $70,000 to afford the cost of such a projector system, it will be out of business right on the eve of the old Vaudeville theater's 75th year of existence in 2014.
A potential solution? A digital fundraiser via Kickstarter, the crowd-funding platform. The goal is summed up in the campaign "39 K in 39 Days," which takes some explaining, says Larry Levine.
Donations to the campaign wind up at 11:04 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 3. This being Kickstarter, none of the committed funds will be awarded unless the entire $39,000 goal is met. (At the time of this interview, the campaign -- which opens with the line "The Historic Lewis Theatre must go digital or go dark" -- had netted about $14,000 in commitments.)
The $39,000 will be coupled with money the theater owners have already saved up since they took over the theater six years ago, knowing full well digital film projection was coming.
"We knew it was coming. Because we knew it was coming we have not taken any money out of the business. All the money the business has generated has been put aside toward this digital conversion," Levine said.
The backers have kept a keen eye on the range of support, said Levine. "We just reached our 100th backer. We've had donations ranging from $1 to $1,500."