Movie Industry Gets Rid of Film; Capri Theatre Needs $80K to Survive


By Jessica Gertler

Montgomery's oldest movie theater could be shutting its doors. That's if the Capri Theatre in the Cloverdale community cannot raise $80,000 to purchase a digital projection system. Employees are calling this the greatest challenge in the theater's existence.

In 1941, the then-called Clover Theatre opened its doors in Montgomery, and over more than 70 years, the cinema has undergone changes including a new name. It's now known as the Capri Theatre.

But one thing that has stayed the same. The theater has always used a projector and 35mm film.

"We don't want it to be our last year. We want to go into the future," says Capri Theatre Director Martin McCaffery. "We want to be here at least another 30 years."

The movie industry will no longer handle film, which means movies will be shipped to theaters on hard drives, and the Capri has to purchase an $80,000 digital projection system to play them.

McCaffery is launching a fundraising campaign, but if it doesn't work, he says, "We will be out of business."

McCaffery says there are plans to renovate the building, which hasn't been done since the 1960s.

"To continue operating while restoring the building, we need a digital system," he says.

"In 1964, Around the World in 80 Days showed at the theater," says Sandra Nickel.

it was the First movie Nickel ever saw at the Capri.

"If we don't get digital equipment at the Capri, the Capri will have to quit showing movies, and that just can't happen," she says.

The fundraiser starts Friday, and will end April 30.

McCaffery says the theater has survived several decades, and he's hoping the oldest movie theater in Montgomery will live on.

The theater is using Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds, which is an online fundraising site for the arts. The way it works is a monetary goal is set. If it's reached, it gets funded. But if it falls short, the project goes unfunded, and the donors are not charged.

The Capri will have a link on their website starting Friday:

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