After one of the theatre’s projectors was having issues, the Rivoli Theatre in Seward got an LB840 loan through the Seward Arts Council for a new one and held a fundraiser to help pay it back.
On Jan. 16, the Rivoli officially got its new projector installed and was able to show a movie on it the same night. The projector was installed by Heartland Theatre Services out of Omaha.
Connie Greger with the Rivoli said the fundraiser went well.
“We had a great turnout for that,” she said. “We had so many people come and had a lot of fun.”
The fundraiser was held on Dec. 10 and Greger said they held an ugly sweater contest, a drawing for a free movie and a dinner, had Santa visit and played movie trivia.
“We had a lot of people come out and a lot of donations that day,” she said.
Greger said they continued to accept donations throughout the month of December and raised over $52,000 before the end of the month.
“We even had a couple of donations from out of state,” she said. “We are very grateful.”
Greger said the first movie played on the new projector was “Wonka,” and they have switched back and forth.
“It literally took him (Heartland Theatre Services) an hour to officially install it,” she said. “It took us much longer to get the old one out.”
Greger said the old projector was installed in 2010 and it was one of the first modern models.
“All theatres were forced to go digital in 2010,” she said.
Greger said a benefit of the new projector is that it runs off of laser technology and not bulbs.
“The old one has an exhaust that went up to the roof because it was so warm,” she said. “They used to have these giant bulbs that cost almost $1,000 to replace, but now we don’t have bulbs at all, it’s just laser.”
Although there wasn’t a lot of leftover money from the fundraiser, Greger said there was enough for the Rivoli to purchase Square card reader software so the theatre could eventually accept card payments.
“We already got them ordered,” she said. “We will for sure have them up and running within the next two weeks.”
With no big upgrades in the near future, Greger said they are planning on hosting a thank-you celebration sometime in early April.
“We want to thank the public and all who supported and celebrate my parents because they will have owned the theatre for 45 years in March,” she said.
Her parents are Chuck and Julie Wisehart.