Beltonian seeks community support
Thursday, 31 January 2013 by Grayson Edds
In order to complete their vision, The Beltonian is asking the community for their support. Owner Roy Bufis has always had a vision of turning the venue into a discount cinema, comedy club hybrid, but due to an unforeseen event the venue was only able to open as a comedy club until funds could be raised to purchase movie equipment.
"We're trying to raise the capital for it right now," Bufis said. "When I bought the building, it was for the intended purpose of being a comedy/cinema hybrid: movies during the day, comedy in the evenings."
In order to satisfy the community's need for a discount cinema, The Beltonian has put together a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $50 thousand dollars needed to purchase the state-of-the-art movie equipment.
"We do need $50 thousand to purchase a project to run Hollywood movies," Bufis said. "It's the same as Grand Avenue or Premiere. They're digital projectors and a computer server and a lot of other expensive items so that we can operate as a theater."
The goal is to offer the community a full-service discount theater. If The Beltonian can raise the funds needed, they will open seven days a week with show times throughout the day. The comedy portion of the club will remain Thursday through Saturday evenings.
"It will be a second-run cinema," Bufis said. "When movies leave Grand Avenue or Premiere, we'll pick them up. When we pick them up, they're at a discount. Instead of $6 or $9 (per ticket), it's $2 or $3."
But just because the tickets will be at a discount price doesn't mean that the service will be. The Beltonian will still offer a full menu plus popcorn and snacks delivered to your seat, removing the hassle of standing in line for food and drink before the movie.
The Kickstarter campaign started last week and will end on Feb. 8, but The Beltonian only has one percent of the funds needed. A Kickstarter campaign is similarly set up to a PBS pledge drive, Bufis said.
"If (the community) wants a discount cinema, we need your support," he said.
Pledges start at $1 and there are a few important aspects of the pledge drive to keep in mind. Most importantly, the pledged money will only leave the donor's account if the goal of $50 thousand has been met on Feb. 8. No money leaves the donor's account until the day the pledge closes, and only then if the goal has been met.
Another thing to keep in mind is the affordability of the pledges, which, when coupled with the pledge rewards, offers an extra incentive to support The Beltonian's vision.
"Different pledge amount get different pledge rewards," Bufis said. "Every one is worth more than what we're asking for."
Most of the rewards, he said, are in the form of discounted movie or comedy tickets. For example, the reward for $20 pledge is two tickets to a comedy show at The Beltonian, which is worth $30.
There is also an option for out-of-town pledges as well as charitable pledges. The Beltonian is working with several local charities to find families who need the opportunity to take their family to a movie, to relax for a few hours, and have some fun.
Any money that The Beltonian in excess of $50 thousand could be used to bring some known comedians to the comedy club, which are all listed on the Kickstarter website.
There are several ways to access the Kickstarter campaign. Visit www.Kickstarter.com and search The Beltonian; or click on the links from www.thebeltonian.com or www.facebook.com/beltonian. To see a weekly update on the status of the Kickstarter campaign, flip to D1.