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Cinema to get help with move to digital

– Cinema Center announced Tuesday the theater will be eligible to receive up to $25,000 in matching grants by September to invest toward the $50,000 purchase and installation of a digital projector, a critical update needed for the theater to show digital-only movies.

The theater at East Berry and Clay streets will receive a $5,000 grant from the Waterfield Foundation and $20,000 grant from the Chapman Fund if it is able to match $25,000 in donations made by its members and other foundations by Sept 1. The need for the digital projector became apparent this year as several independent and major movie distributors converted to a less expensive digital format.

As of June, Cinema Center Executive Director Jonah Crismore said the theater has about $20,000 in donations for the digital conversion.

The theater must receive at least $5,000 more in donations from contributors to be eligible for the grants’ full amount.

“It’s very much a relief,” Crismore said. “It’s so much easier to get people to donate if they realize that their $50 donation will benefit the Cinema Center with a $100 donation.”