A Campaign To Save A Berkshire Movie Theater Is Successful (So Far)
These days, it is a sad situation where local movie houses are shutting down as competition from larger mega-plex cinemas is forcing them to go out of business on a permanent basis. But there is good news as a trio of theaters in our tri-state region ARE open and a familiar place on Railroad Street in Great Barrington is on it's way to continue daily operations.
The Tri Plex Cinema is currently owned by South Egremont resident Richard Stanley. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of business, his intentions were to close the theater after the Berkshire Film Festival takes place in early June. He was in negotiations with Cinema Lab of New Jersey to buy the property, but that fell through.
Enter a group of local residents led by Nicki Wilson and Hannah Wilken.as they paired up to form a grass roots group "Save The Tri Plex" and the response from Berkshire residents has been overwhelming. After one month of fund raising, their aim is to turn the theater into a not for profit organization that will continue to provide entertainment to movie goers on a daily basis.
Both women have started a GoFundMe campaign where the goal was to collect $150 thousand in contributions. They are two thirds towards that magical number as they have raised over $113 thousand in their quest to keep the Tri Plex doors open as a series of negotiations will begin in the coming days.
(Crandall Movie Theater and Millerton Movie House photo credits courtesy of Yelp, Images Cinema courtesy of Trip Advisor)
Three area cinemas have gone towards the non-profit route and have been successful in getting audiences to fill these theaters with top quality films. In neighboring New York, Columbia county's Crandall Theater in Chatham and Millerton's Movie House located at Dutchess county's Harlem Valley (Ironically both locales are situated on Main Street) have reaped the benefits regarding their non-profit status and remain in business. In Massachusetts, Williamstown's Images Cinema on Spring Street has also joined in on keeping it's doors open on a regular basis.
BOTTOM LINE: If you would like to assist in keeping the Tri Plex open, there is STILL time to do so. Log on to this web site by going here. Kudos to Nicki and Hannah as their determination of community involvement is paying off in more ways than one. Grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!
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