Historic movie theater goes to public to avoid shutdown

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on November 23, 2012 at 11:30 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 24 at 12:03 PM

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Blue Mouse theater survived transitions to "talkies," color films and stereo surround sound systems, but converting to a digital projector could shut the place down.

"It could be a possibility," said theater manager Sue Evans.
 
Evans said the theater, which opened in 1923 in Tacoma's Proctor District, is the oldest movie theater in the state to continuously operate as a theater.
 
But Evans said the streak could end next October if they cannot come up with $75,000 by next October.  That's how much The Blue Mouse needs to buy a digital projector. 
 
Evans said the studios are planning to distribute all movies digitally by next fall.
 
"I just cannot save $75,000 by October 13th," said Evans.
 
But she is confident the theater will survive, thanks to the community it has entertained for nearly 90 years.
 
"We will not let that theater close," said Gail Caldwell, owner of Amore Artisan Boutique down the street from the theater.
 
Caldwell said the Blue Mouse, attracts customers to her street every night.  She fears losing the theater could put her boutique out of business.  
 
Caldwell also has memories of seeing movies at the Blue Mouse as a kid.
 
"It would just be horrible," said Caldwell when asked what closing the theater would mean to the neighborhood.  
 
Caldwell is one of a number of community members who helped put together a film on a Kickstarter website to raise funds for the Blue Mouse. It has generated $23,000. Visit the website for information about how to donate.
 

 

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