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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Fox Theater still needs your help to stay open

  • Kickstarter campaign is only at 38 percent of goal. Car wash, yard sale and barbecue are being planned.
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  • In its bid to keep showing first-run movies locally, the Fox Theatre has scheduled three fund-raisers to go along with its Internet drive to raise $40,000 for a new digital projector.
    Fox owner Kent Coke said a car wash, yard sale and barbecue are being planned.
    The car wash will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Recreation Center, 500 Cascade Place.
    The yard sale will also be on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be held at the Veterans Park at the corner of Highway 119 and East Kern Street.
    "We are also having a barbecue fund-raiser on the next Cruise Night (Sept. 6," Coke said.
    "Our Kickstarter campaign is currently 38 percent funded with $15, 199 raised so far. There are 12 days left."
    Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal and works like this:
    People who like the project make a pledge with a credit card. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal by the deadline, all backers' credit cards are charged when the time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged.
    According to its website, Kickstarter claims to have funded – since its launch in April 2009 -- more than 35,000 projects by generating more than a half billion dollars from three million people.
    "In most cases, the majority of funding initially comes from the fans and friends of each project," Kickstarter's website (www.kickstarter.com) says. "If they like it, they'll spread the word to their friends and so on. Press, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Kickstarter itself are also big sources of traffic and pledges. Millions of people visit Kickstarter every week."
    Coke is hoping the new Kickstarter technology will keep the Fox open just as technology has created his dilemma.
    As early as the end of this year the motion picture industry will no longer ship reels of celluloid to local theater projection rooms.
    The industry is going digital, forcing movie houses to swap their 35mm projectors for a more tech savvy way of screening movies.
    "If we are not able to convert, the theater will close at the end of the year," said Coke.
    Making the switch isn't cheap.
    Upgrading each of the Fox's three screens will run about $65,000 a pop, he said.
    He's already making arrangements to upgrade the projector in the main theater.
    "We have a lease-to-own deal that would allow us to have the equipment installed for $40K and spread the remaining cost out over several years. At the end of the lease, we would own the equipment."
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