Fund drive continues, film series is on

JAFFREY — The Park Theatre is creeping closer to its $5 million goal to reconstruct the theater, and is waiting with bated breath to hear whether a second tax credit from the Community Development Finance Authority — which will be a big step towards their remaining $1.6 million in funds yet to be raised — will be approved this week. In the meantime, the show must go on for the Park Theatre’s annual summer film series, which will start this Thursday, with the 1976 Oscar-winner “Rocky.”

Some people have questioned whether the summer film series will be held this year, said Park Theatre Board Chair Caroline Hollister in an interview Monday, but since 2008 the film series has been held annually in the Jaffrey Woman’s Club. It is put on with a grant from the RBC Charitable Foundation and is sponsored by local restaurants; it isn’t supported by the funds needed to rebuild the theater, so the summer movies will be held as they always have been, she said.

“We’re starting with ‘Rocky,’ because Rocky didn’t give up and we’re not giving up,” said Hollister. “We want to emphasize the fact that no one’s giving up, we’re still doing this and we’re very close.”

The old theater has been torn down, and the board is in the midst of having construction drawings drawn up while the last of the funds needed for the project are raised, said Hollister. In addition to the tax credit the board hopes to receive, they will also be spearheading a grassroots fundraising effort, as well as selling the opportunity to have one of the theater’s new seats dedicated to buyers or their loved ones. There is also a final push to solicit private donations from local business owners and residents who have indicated a willingness to donate significant amounts, said Hollister. With those four pieces, she said, the hope is to begin construction this fall before winter sets in.

In the meantime, the Park Theatre will continue to provide it’s summer film series, with a selection of mostly classic films.

The season will also include “The Magnificent Seven” on July 24, “To Kill a Mockingbird” on July 31, “The African Queen” on Aug. 14, “Michael” on July 17, “Best in Show” on Aug. 7 and “Love Actually” on Aug. 21. The season will also include a Saturdays at the Cinema series beginning in September, with presentations through November, including “Laura” on Sept. 13, “Like Water for Chocolate” on Oct. 13 and “Sergeant York” on Nov. 8. Also on Nov. 8, the Park Theatre will hold its annual Salute to Veterans, which includes live music along with the film screening. All shows begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Jaffrey Woman’s Club, and are free of charge, though donations are accepted. Refreshments are available.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.

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