Hollywood ending for drive-in’s fundraiser

May 13, 2013 

Shelton’s Skyline Drive-In theater has successfully raised the money it needs to buy a digital projector, which means you will still be able to curl up with a blanket in the back of your truck and watch a movie under the stars.

The drive in, which used the fundraising website Kickstarter, raised $40,055 from more than 500 backers by the Sunday morning deadline, with most of those donations coming in the final day of the campaign, said Christopher Mayes, a chief information officer for the family-run business. The business had set out to raise $40,000.

“We have what we need to move forward,” Mayes said.

By Thursday evening the Skyline fundraising effort had generated only about $17,000, but that all changed on Saturday when pledges began to pour in, finally raising more than $20,000.

There were a couple of large investments among the more than 500 backers, but most of the total was raised through smaller donations, some from as far as Chicago and Sweden, Mayes said.

Kickstarter charges a fee for its service, plus taxes have to be paid, so another fundraiser is set for Thursday at the Capitol Theater and the Skyline.

The Capitol will have a screening of Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.” and the Skyline, later that night, is going to show the original “Alien,” directed by Ridley Scott. Although “E.T.” is a children’s movie, “Alien” is not, Mayes said.

Once the additional funds have been raised and combined with money raised last year, the Mayes family can purchase a digital projector for about $80,000.

Without it, there was a chance the Skyline could close because 35mm film prints are being phased out of existence. The new digital projector is expected to be installed this summer, he said.

The Skyline was opened in 1964 by Fred Thibodeau, who then sold the theater to the Mayes family in 2005.

Mayes’ mother, Dorothea, booked films for the theater when Thibodeau owned it, and she continues to do that today.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com theolympian.com/bizblog

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