We have had another incredible year at the State Theatre and Traverse City Film Festival, and once again I want to offer you my heartfelt thanks.

Last year at this time, I asked you to join me in a fundraising drive because we had to replace the entire exterior of the theater. I also asked you to help us fund our enormous program of year-round free movies and events for the community. Your response was nothing less than a hundred and ten percent.

We have now rebuilt and restored the original 1940s art deco front of the theater so it looks great and will last another hundred years. And this year, we provided over 250 free (or nearly free) movies and activities for the community —- especially for kids, seniors, low-income families, and nonprofits doing good things locally.

We’ve opened our doors so you could watch the presidential debates with your friends and neighbors, and cheer on your favorite team at the Michigan-MichiganState game. We’ve provided free movies during Cherry Festival, held a special MLK Day event, and showed free movies during Spring Break week.

With your support, we helped over 120 nonprofits, schools, health & human service and cultural organizations in our community with their events, fundraisers and awareness efforts. We welcomed into the theater over 7,000 students from communities all across our region for free special screenings. And we continued our 25-cent screenings for families every Saturday morning (plus Tuesdays and Thursdays in the summer) and classic films for 25 cents every Wednesday morning!

Now, as we reach the end of another great year at the State, I am asking you once again to join me in doing something good — and much-needed — for the theater and the festival.

Our digital projector is now six years old, and in the new digital world we live in, that’s about 47 analog years old. The studios are already releasing films in new formats our projector can’t support with upgrades. We desperately need to replace the State’s digital projector with a new machine so that:

• We’ll be able to show every film that is released, no matter what the format.
• We’ll have an energy-efficient projector that will use far fewer $1,600 projector bulbs!
• We’ll have the absolute best picture on screen.
• We’ll have the old projector as a backup, just in case.

You’ve probably read that 35mm film is dead, and that is pretty much true. There are no new film projectors or cameras being made in this country and Kodak has gone bankrupt. This is a seismic change and we need to be ahead of the curve, not fall behind. The State Theatre, along with most every other small movie house in the country, has to catch up with the quantum leap that film exhibition has taken in the past few years. These projectors cost nearly $100,000.

In addition, we want to keep all of our free community programs going, and the free and low-cost programs we offer cost us over $100,000 a year. We strongly believe they are worth every penny, that they return a value to our community that far exceeds our cost.

So, to continue our community programs and get the digital projector we need, we need to raise $200,000. The good news is that we only have to raise half of what we raised last year, and we have already received major donations to get the ball rolling. The other good news is that, if past experience is any indication, I know you’ll make this happen!

Will you take a moment right now and make a donation so we can buy the new projector and keep our community screenings going? All you have to do is click here and and donate online. Please give what you can — every contribution, large or small, is greatly appreciated. And all contributions to the State Theatre and Traverse City Film Festival are 100% tax deductible.

When we opened the State over five years ago, I did not want to go the usual route of a community fundraising drive because I wanted to get this theater up and running immediately. So, I asked the Herrington-Fitch Family Foundation if they would buy the digital projector, and I asked Deluxe, the lab that makes the prints for my movies, to buy the two film projectors. Their generosity made it possible for movies, operas and so much more to be projected onto our giant screen.

This time around, I thought you and I could take care of it. Cool?

Thanks again for everything and please take just a minute now to make a contribution.

See you at the movies!

Michael Moore
President, Board of Directors