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Theatre

Dear Editor:

Pagosa Springs is a great place! It is where I can enjoy the natural beauty surrounding Pagosa Springs, the 4th of July parade, the feeling of belonging when I speak with someone in a retail store, the down home feeling of going to see a movie at the local historic movie theatre. But wait … because of the need to convert equipment from film to digital, the Liberty Theatre may have to shutter its doors. I, for one, hope this doesn’t happen. The historic theatre adds to the charm of the downtown and provides another venue for people to go after dark. It would be a shame if another building in downtown went dark. I went to see “The Hobbit” in December and the Liberty was packed. Such a wonderful sight and it let me know I’m not the only person in town who likes to go to the movies (whether a resident or visitor). Being able to see newly released movies is a treat one doesn’t expect in a small town such as Pagosa, but is a much better option than having to drive to Durango. So, why am I writing this letter? I’m hoping others in Pagosa Springs and the surrounding areas will help this business to remain open. Approximately $65,000 is needed for the digital conversion (apparently you have to change not only the equipment, but the screen and sound system). Proactively, the Liberty Theatre applied for and has been awarded a grant from Downtown Colorado Inc. (DCI) to help upgrade equipment and keep the theatre open. Between that grant money and the Liberty’s own contributions, $30,0000 has been raised. The Liberty has also launched a community funding effort through communityfunded.com. So far, approximately $6,000 has been pledged by people just like me who want to keep the theater open.  (http://communityfunded.com/projects/digitalconversion/save-the-liberty-theatre-2/). The grant money is only available for 30 days and will not be issued unless the Liberty is able to raise the total amount necessary to upgrade the Liberty’s equipment. Time is running out. The Liberty needs to raise the funds or the grant money disappears. We must act quickly, this week. If another 580 people would pledge $50 each, the additional $29,000 would be raised. I know that many businesses are struggling in Pagosa, but it seems to me that keeping a movie theater up and running provides not only entertainment to those visiting and living in Pagosa, but a safe place for our youth (a local option so they don’t have to drive to Durango), helps to maintain the vitality of the downtown area, and also supports preservation of the historic property that we know as the Liberty Theatre. The theater benefits all, whether you like to go see movies or not. It is an amenity that few small towns can boast they have. Let’s take this opportunity to join together to Save the Liberty Theatre. Make your pledge right now at communityfunded.com (search for Liberty Theatre).

Jeannie Bowser

This story was posted on January 16, 2014.