The historic Newtown Theatre will be holding a $100-per-person gala this Saturday to raise funds to convert the theatre’s projection system from film to digital.
The "Let's Get Digital...Digital" gala is one of many fundraising efforts the theatre has undertaken to help pay for the $100,000 cost of converting to a digital projection system. So far, approximately $10,000 has been raised.
Conversion to digital is necessary as movie distributors switch from sending new releases on reeled spools, which can cost up to $2,000, to releasing the movies on a digital format. The cost of a reusable hard drive is estimated to be around $300, according to event organizers.
During the gala, a portion of North State Street will be closed between Jefferson and Green streets as a large buffet dinner will be held under a tent in front of the 181-year-old theatre.
Old newsreel clips and classic comedy shorts will be projected on the screen inside the building, organizers said.
Other events planned for the gala include a silent auction of movie posters, memorabilia and other items. Live music will also be performed for attendees.
The performing arts center, which is billed as being “America’s oldest continuously running movie theatre,” was constructed in 1831 and the first film was presented inside the brick-faced building in 1906.
Today, the Newtown Theatre still offers first-run films; ParaNorman is currently playing. It also hosts concerts, lectures and book signings. The Newtown Arts Company also uses the theatre for its stage productions.
Saturday’s gala is sponsored being put together with help from the Newtown Morgan Stanley Smith Barney office.
To order tickets, visit SaveNewtownTheatre.com. Tickets also are available at the Newtown Theatre Box Office, 120 N. State Street, Newtown.
Sponsorships for the gala are available and include seating for guests, prominent signage at the event, an advertisement in the event booklet, and free on-screen advertising before each movie shown at the North State Street theatre for weeks following the event. For sponsor information, contact the Newtown office of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney at 215-968-0900.
Donations for the digital conversion fund can also be made on the theatre’s website.