I'm Chris Ball, and me and my wife Tammy owned and operated the Towne Cinema movie theater. The Towne Cinema was a building located in the heart of West Liberty, KY, that was constructed in 1971 and went operational on Thanksgiving Eve in 1972. November 2012 would have been its 40th anniversary. It was a brick and mortar theater; not the metal cookie cutters you see today. It was one of only two underground theaters in North America. Our box office was level with Main St, and when you purchased your ticket you went downstairs into the lobby and then into the auditorium. Our projector was over 50 years old; it was an old Century projector with an even older Christie lamphouse. Our projector setup was before the creation of platter systems or digital cinema.
On March 2nd, 2012, our town was struck & devastated by an EF3 tornado. It took out all but four of our restaurants. It struck all the government buildings and offices. It devastated almost all of the local banks. And it also struck the Towne Cinema. We didn't own the building, but owned the equipment, which everything inside suffered water damage because it blew the roof off the building above us and rain and melted snow (we got 5 inches of snow 3 days after the tornado) seeped through their floor through our roof. Demolition has already begun on the old theater and we salvaged what we could.
We had missed an insurance payment in January 2012 and our insurance was cancelled. We were turned down both by FEMA and the SBA. We have nowhere else to look for aid except donations. Everything we had was in this business and now we're left with nothing. We want our little town to have the best little theater in the world, and without your help we won't be able to make it possible.
Our intent is to purchase a larger piece of ground in our little home town and build a three screen (or more) theater with an arcade, conference room, large lobby and a museum of sorts honoring the history of cinema in West Liberty, KY. Our community needs a way to escape the tragedy and suffering from this natural disaster, even if it is for a few hours.
Donations will go primarily to purchase land, erect a building and purchase theater equipment (concessions, digital cinema equipment, sound systems, etc) for a new Towne Cinema, a place where our youth and our community can come and enjoy a movie, as well as local area talent in music and theater plays in their hometown.
Again, I thank you for your time in reading this & hope you can aid us in any way, either financially or by spreading the word to your friends and family or both. If you can't donate online please mail your donation to: