The historic Lyric, in Blacksburg for 85 years, is about to make history as it like other theaters across the country, are being forced into the digital age. "It's essential that we make this transition to digital cinema if we want to continue to show current release films," said Executive Director Susan Mattingly.
Moving from 35mm print media to digital is an expensive undertaking. It's costing the lyric $120,000. "It's not a big surprise to anybody. It's been coming for a long time."
The Lyric has been saving and fundraising for a couple years but is now trying crowd funding through Kickstarter to reach out to the people outside of Blacksburg who once shared in the experience of the theater. "You have all those Hokie Alums who had really great memories of their days in Blacksburg," Mattingly said. "The Lyric is part of that."
The equipment has already been bought and partially installed by paying out of savings. the theater is now looking to replenish its reserves for any unexpected costs. "This is an aging infrastructure," Mattingly explained. "We have kind of a leaky roof and older HVAC systems. What we don't want to do is jeopardize the future of the theater."
With just a couple weeks to go in its campaign, the Lyric has to raise less 10,000 of its $50,000 goal. Backers who pledge anywhere from $5 to $5000 will get t-shirts, tickets or their name in lights in exchange. As with all Kickstarter campaigns, pledges won't be charged if the project doesn't reach its goal.
"To be 2/3rds of the way there with three weeks left in the campaign, I'm really optimistic."
The deadline to pledge is June 9th. Click here to get see the Kickstarter campaign or to make a pledge.