To the editor:
I was troubled to read about the Palace Theatre's financial troubles. My family have been seasonal residents of Lake Placid since the early 1970s, and I cherish my childhood memories of walking into town on winter afternoons and summer nights to see films at the Palace with my siblings.
Though I cannot attend the meeting on the 16th, I hope that I can submit an idea to the Lake Placid community. Rather than doing a simple fundraising campaign, with which theater owners like Ms. Strasser might feel uncomfortable, the Palace Theatre might consider "crowdfunding."
This process allows regular people to help artists and innovators make creative projects possible. Kickstarter.com is a unique crowdfunding website, allowing people to pledge money - from as little as $1 to tens of thousands of dollars - to support projects they care about. In return, these "backers" receive something from the creator, like tickets to the play they're funding or the chance to meet the comic book artist whose new printing press they helped buy. Crowdfunding is different than charity or general fundraising because people pledge a specific amount of money to a specific project, and get something in return. It's not charity but economy, on the most local and personal scale imaginable.
If the Palace Theatre were to use Kickstarter to raise funds for their digital projectors, Lake Placid and surrounding communities would be able to show their love and support directly to the theater which has provided entertainment and safe nights out for our families for decades. The Palace would estimate the cost of their project - $80,000 times four projectors would be about $250,000 - and set rewards for various levels of support. Such rewards could include backers' names on a plaque, a thank-you party, free tickets or vouchers for special film screenings, or a behind-the-scenes tour of the theater. Even with no reward at all, I know I would be eager to contribute to help the Palace Theatre modernize in this small way.
Thank you to the Lake Placid News for its reporting, and to the Palace Theatre for the two decades of entertainment and memories it has so far afforded me.
With care from downstate,
Amanda N. McLoughlin