Facing Possible Closure, Iron Range Movie Theater Launches Kickstarter Campaign

By KBJR News 1

March 18, 2013 Updated Mar 19, 2013 at 1:12 AM CST

Cook, MN (NNCNOW.com) - In the age of all things digital, small town movie theaters are threatened with dimming their lights for good.

This is the case in Cook, which is home to the longest, continuously running, single–screen movie theater in Minnesota.

"They have grown up with this. I mean they came and saw Wizard of Oz here back in 1939," said Carol Carlson, owner of the Comet Theater.

But the Comet's days could be numbered. The film industry, like so many others, is turning to digital, leaving most small town theaters without the right equipment, facing the likelihood of a final showtime.

"There's nine of these [reels of film per one movie] as compared to just one little DVD. You know, that takes thirteen cents, this basically costs about a hundred dollars to produce," said Carlson.

Now, in order to save the theater from becoming a thing of the past; Carlson is relying on a modern day development.

"It's so neat because it's bigger than me," said Carlson of the campaign she started on Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is an online fundraising site which allows participants to post their ideas with the possibility that complete strangers could help them reach their fundraising goal.

Carlson's Kickstarter campaign aims to raise the $80,000 she needs to buy a digital projector and keep the Comet up and running.
In three days she's already raised more than $9,000.

"The response has been pretty much overwhelming," said Carlson, "Main street is closing all over the United States and this kind of thing doesn't exist anymore. It's [the campaign] absolutely saving history."

For now, the Comet will still be showing movies. They'll show the movie, "The Croods," there this Friday at seven p.m.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.