The Majestic Theatre, located in the heart of Colorado’s “last true ski town” is suffering. COVID-19 forced the theatre to shut-down, and a group of ski bums who affectionately call themselves “Children of The Popcorn” are trying to save it. I spoke with Carrie Wallace, manager of The Majestic about how we can help.
While COVID-19 has challenged ski resorts/areas, the local businesses that survive on tourism dollars in ski towns are bleeding dry. The Majestic Theatre was forced to close at the onset of the pandemic due to local health regulations.
According to Wallace, the owner of the theatre had increased the monthly rent in 2019 to a rate that was hard to pay, without a pandemic affecting their business. Wallace said the theatre was given a pause on rent payments for a time, but the owner is now seeking 6 months of back rent payments.
Simply put, the Majestic Theatre has made little to no money over that period, and can’t pay the rent. That’s why The Children of The Popcorn are seeking to raise $3.3 million to purchase the theatre, and donate it to the town of Crested Butte to preserve their cherished establishment.
Here’s a quote from the fundraiser’s official GoFundMe campaign page:
“Once we have raised the money, we hope to re-open the Majestic as a non-profit movie theater. From our research, this is how most small town theaters are surviving. Three Bryn Mawr Film Institute surveys from 2008-2010 found that three-quarters of American small movie theaters are non-profits. As a non-profit, we hope to secure grants and government funding so that we have less reliance on the Hollywood movie market, and more opportunity to host films and events that are important to our community. We will also be able to solicit the support of our community so that if we lose money showing a film— since studios can demand such a deep cut of our profits—we can still exist to screen more films that our community wants or needs to see.”
Wallace acknowledged that while preserving the theatre for Crested Butte’s roughly 2,000 residents is important, the group wants to continue to provide the retro-esque movie theatre experience for visitors and tourists.
The theatre has been an entertainment staple for skiers and boarders when they come off the hill. It’s perfect for families wanting to see the next big blockbuster, or for anybody who wants to kill time on a down day.
So, why should you help?
This has been a tough year on everybody, but we all know that small businesses like The Majestic Theatre are those that suffer most. Big name theatres with hundreds of locations will most likely survive, but The Majestic Theatre won’t, without your help.
Wallace believes that they can reach their daunting goal of $3.3 million if everybody who believes in saving small businesses contributed just $5. You can make an impact by clicking the link to GoFundMe page here, or by clicking the embedded image below.
Please share with your friends via social media if you want to help even more.
Have more questions about saving The Majestic Theatre? You can contact Wallace at: firstname.lastname@example.org