Thank you everyone who has donated to this fund!! I have raised the goal to $50,000. as we are still without electricity and I am re-evaluating future needs.
I have already included a short section below detailing the proposed changes. My plan right now is to reopen as soon as we are able - right now this is looking like September 2nd, if everything comes together - and then schedule a future date for the upstairs renovations, followed by the downstairs as the logistics are worked out. It is unfortunately looking like a longer process than I had originally anticipated, but I think we will be able to reopen and still get it all done. There have been some bumps in the road but the community support has been amazing and watching the other businesses in town slowly come back gives me hope.
How this all came about
We started this campaign just before the flood, but now our needs have changed as our entire downstairs theater was underwater on July 10th and 11th (along with the rest of Montpelier's downtown). The good news is that we were able to salvage some items before the waters started rising, but unfortunately, we lost the projector, the screen, the sound system, half of the seating, and quite a lot of inventory. Amazingly, the main theater remained untouched and for this, I am so grateful. If we can work out all the legalities and logistics we still plan to rebuild the downstairs theater space.
An important part of the community
Over the years our theater has seen many ups and downs, including three previous major floods! Throughout all of this, the local and surrounding communities have always been very generous and supportive of our theater which has enabled us to continue bringing unique films and events to this relatively small, but culturally rich area. Without this loyal support, we would have become a memory long ago and we are so grateful for the opportunity to keep this small gem alive.
Why this place matters
The Savoy Theater is Vermont's only remaining independent art-house movie theater. Established in 1981 in Montpelier, Vermont, by Rick Winston and a partner (who was later replaced by Andrea Serota, Rick's wife), the theater has been a source of culture and entertainment to the local and surrounding communities, hosting unique events, showcasing local artists, playing first-run independent movies, and showing films you won't be able to see at any of the other theaters in the state. We are looking forward to the return of the Green Mountain Film Festival in 2024.
Our insurance company has predictably left us high (though not so dry), so I am pursuing the few local grants available. I am planning to give the upstairs lobby a much overdue upgrade which will create a more welcoming environment and eliminate the need to store inventory in the basement. This will have to happen sometime later this year, but this fundraising effort will help to make that possible. I am very excited to begin this next chapter in the life of our unique theater!
What will be different
In addition to the changes upstairs, all furniture and equipment in our downstairs theater will be able to be moved up and out in the event of another extreme high water event. The walls, floors and ceiling will be made of some kind of waterproof material that can be cleaned and dried, or easily replaced. Other improvements are being made in the building by the landlord to help prevent future basement flooding and to safeguard electrical panels and heating and cooling equipment by moving them all above ground level as per new city ordinances.
It can't happen without you
We need your support now more than ever if we are going to move into the future. Please give whatever you can and know that you are helping to keep something special and relevant alive.
The Savoy Theater