The Firehouse Theater does more than show movies. It's owner, Craig Smith, likes it to be a community space, connecting people in the small town of Kingston, Washington. The Firehouse is hosting an Oscar’s gala on Sunday, February 9, where they roll out the red carpet and patrons come dressed in their finest.
In this digital age, it is easy to find loads of entertainment options within the comfort of your own home. But with all this convenience, we can sometimes feel isolated and detached from others in our community. People need contact with each other, even if it’s sitting quietly and enjoying a movie together.
This is what makes this community movie theater different. Before each showing, a movie-buff staffer (usually Craig) engages the audience by telling fun facts and history about the movie, its characters and actors before the showing. This educational minute not only helps bring the movie to life through further context, but I have also often used this information as casual conversation starters. It’s this, and the real butter on popcorn that truly makes the Firehouse special.
In 2008, Craig spent $400,000 to remodel the old Kingston firehouse into what is now the Firehouse Theater, and has gradually been paying back those costs. The Firehouse monthly movie-goer attendance is roughly the same size as the town of Kingston itself. Even with this high volume of patrons, most of the money from ticket sales go back to the film companies for licensing fees. Craig’s mission before his retirement is to transform the Firehouse Theater to a nonprofit organization that continues to support the Kingston community. This GoFundMe will help fund this transition.
Tier 1: $40,000 total raised -> Pays off the remaining balance of the theater projectors that were purchased for $146,000.
Tier 2: $85,000 total raised -> Pays off credit card debt accrued for theater expenses and 2nd mortgage taken out to finish the theater (currently at $45,000)
Tier 3: $105,000 total raised -> Upgrades equipment, like theater lighting we always wanted in the main stage to do live theater but ran out money.
Tier 4: 250,000 + (just raised it because the response has been so strong and there is so much to do to keep us open long term) Reaching this goal to pay for establishing a nonprofit organization for the Firehouse Theater is another fundraiser so we stop here. Craig will have to retire so selling it or setting up a community board to run things and he can volunteer to help. This will happen within the next couple of years as his wife Becky said so. Want to take over a very cool small town theater?
We appreciate any donation amount you can provide. You can also help by spreading the word about this cause. Share this GoFundMe link on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform you use. Tell your friends. And come see a movie!
Thank You! for supporting the Kingston Firehouse Theater and the Kingston community.
- Teresa D Thurston
- Sonora Hudson
- Sharon Bidwell
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