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For Windom Theater, a second act

WINDOM -- Two weeks ago, Windom Theater Inc., a group formed to save the Windom State Theater, had a hard battle ahead of it.

More than $62,000 was needed to purchase a digital projector to replace the old 35-millimeter projector, without which the theater would no longer be able to show current movies.

Since an article about the State Theater effort ran in the Daily Globe, Jean Fast, secretary of the theater board, said, "Things have really exploded.

"Because of that article, we had a gentleman who is a Worthington native call us, and he has used equipment that we can pick up that will cost $35,000 instead of $62,000," she said.

The theater will purchase the used projector, with only 2,500 hours of service time, from Odyssey Entertainment, based in the Twin Cities.

"They had three 4K Sony projectors. Those are the same projectors that they are going to be using in Worthington (Northland Cinema 5)," Fast added.

Reducing the amount needed for a new projector is a huge step in the right direction for the theater.

The group has also received "almost $17,000 in cash contributions," Fast said, adding that some of those donations came from people in the Twin Cities after the story was picked up by the Pioneer Press.

While a new lens and screen could be purchased and added to the projector to show 3-D movies, Fast said she didn't think the theater group would make that investment any time soon.

"As a committee, we made the decision that it isn't that big of a draw because you have to upcharge the ticket by $3. It would take us a long time to absorb the cost of the screen. Plus, it kind of seems like a fad thing right now," she said.

The Cottonwood County commissioners also informed Windom Theater Inc. that there is $25,000 in a revolving loan fund that could be tapped into.

While Fast said she was glad to hear of the possible loan, the theater group would prefer to not take out a loan.

"In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to borrow any money, because we'd have to pay that money off anyway," she said.

The theater group is near to completing the first phase of the project with the purchase of the projector, but money will continue to be raised for the second phase -- fixing the marquee and finishing the improvements within the auditorium.

"At least with the projector, we can still show movies and continue fundraising as we go, but there are people who have a passion for the building and not digital movies -- we're still taking contributing for the building," Fast said.

To continue the fundraising efforts, Dr. Adrian Lee will give a presentation about angels at 7 p.m. April 9 at the State Theater.

"He is a paranormalist and has a Ph.D. in history and wants to talk about the history of angels and the history of the building itself," Fast explained.

Adrian will speak about the history of angels as written in the Bible and the use of angels in art and in grave yards and will use stories, paintings, photography and a PowerPoint presentation on the theater's screen to illustrate his presentation,

Fast said Lee contacted the theater group and offered to give the presentation. Tickets are $5, and all proceeds will go toward the theater.

Fast added that the support the group has received from the community and people outside of the community has been heartwarming.

"I just want to thank everyone for their enthusiasm. We have a lot of momentum and we appreciate all the support," she said.

Donations to the Windom State Theater can be sent to Windom Theater, P.O. Box 113, Windom 56101.

Daily Globe Reporter Alyson Buschena may be reached at 376-7322.

Alyson Buschena
Alyson joined the Daily Globe newsroom staff after spending a year in Latin America. A native of Fulda and graduate of the University of Northwestern, she has a bachelor's degree in English with a dual concentration in Literature and Writing and a minor in Spanish. At the Daily Globe, Alyson covers the crime beat as well as Pipestone and Murray counties, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking. More of Alyson's writing can be found at
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