TIPTON, Iowa — A Cedar County theater that has hosted Iowa's longest-running film festival needs help raising money to raise its curtain again.
The Hardacre Theater Preservation Association has launched a fundraising campaign to purchase the Tipton theater using the crowdfunding website Indiegogo.com. The campaign’s goal is to raise $60,500 before Jan. 30.
The association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is using Indiegogo to fund the first phase of its fundraising campaign, with the goal of purchasing the theater by Jan. 31. Phase two, which will begin after the purchase, will involve raising funds to renovate and rehabilitate the theater.
The theater, at 112 E. 5th St., closed in August at the conclusion of the 16th annual Hardacre Film Festival, Iowa's longest-running film festival. The theater has been in continuous use as an opera house and then a movie theater since 1914.
There will be a public fundraising campaign kick-off pizza party at noon Saturday, Dec. 28, at A Place to Land, 523 Cedar St. In addition to food and drinks, a donation station will be set up for people who want to join the fund drive. Hardacre Theater Preservation Association board members will be on hand to answer questions and help drum up volunteers.
According to a news release from the association, the “Save the Hardacre” campaign will use a flexible funding option, meaning the campaign must reach its goal to receive the total funds donated. If the fundraising goal is not met, the assocation will receive 91 percent of the money raised.
Greg Brown, Hardacre Theater Preservation Association president, said it's important to raise the entire $60,500.
“While this is less severe than the all-or-nothing crowdfunding campaign we originally planned to use, meeting our goal will mean the difference between making the purchase deadline or failing to make it,” he said.
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The purchase price for the theater is its assessed value, $96,100. One donor already has pledged a $40,000 matching donation toward the purchase price. The Indiegogo campaign is designed to raise the remaining amount, in addition to $4,400 in campaign fees.
Campaign donations are tax deductible, and donors can choose from a variety of donor rewards, depending on their level of giving. Donors will get perks from local businesses throughout the campaign, including freebies and discounted items.
Brown said that although the Indiegogo fundraiser "opens our donor pool considerably, we need donations from local community members to really pull this off."