Slow winter forcing Art Theater to raise $25,000 in 25 days

Slow winter forcing Art Theater to raise $25,000 in 25 days

CHAMPAIGN — Due in part to low winter attendance, The Art Theater's officers announced early Friday the nonprofit needs at least $25,000 within 25 days to remain open.

Hours later, the foundation had already raised about half that amount, according to Porshe R. Garner, executive director of the Art Film Foundation.

Still, future fundraising campaigns are planned, she said.

It is possible the theater may have to close for a short time or indefinitely if the fundraising goal isn't met, Garner said.

As an independent nonprofit organization, Garner said, The Art Theater needs to raise money through several avenues, including donations and ticket sales.

"We depend on individual and corporate support," she added. "We are looking forward to an end game to include things like a possible expansion."

The theater, at 126 W. Church St., C, is the only independent nonprofit theater in the area.

It has offered Hollywood classics, documentaries, foreign films, children's features, avant-garde and midnight cult favorites, among others.

The theater is one of the oldest continuous businesses in Champaign.

As the Park Theatre, it opened in downtown Champaign in 1913, local theater historian Perry C. Morris said.

It closed in 1958 and was reopened as The Art Theater, but became an X-rated house in the 1970s.

In 1987, John Manley purchased the building, and it has been an art house ever since, though ownership has changed.

It became a cooperative in 2012 and a nonprofit in 2017, according to Morris.

Topics (2):Film, Theater