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Stigler's movie theater saved by generous community's support

The town of 2,700 residents surpassed its goal of raising $100,000 to convert the Time Theater to digital. The theater is expected to reopen June 15.
by Jennifer Palmer Modified: April 9, 2013 at 9:28 pm •  Published: April 10, 2013

— The community of Stigler is celebrating a successful fundraising effort to convert the Time Theater to digital, surpassing its goal of $100,000.

They saved their theater.

In December, Stigler resident Mitzi Woodson initiated an effort to raise the money needed to replace the theater's old 35 mm film projector with a new digital projection system and sound equipment.

Faced with the cost of conversion, the theater management had said it would have to close.

Movie showings have been sporadic at the Time Theater this year, because 2012 was the last year major motion picture studios provided movies on film. Some weekends, the main street attraction remains closed, but when the theater is able to get a movie on film, it opens and shows it.

“It's just extremely difficult to get 35 millimeter film now,” Woodson said. “But we fought it, and we'll have our movie theater.”

Raising $100,000 seemed daunting at first, Woodson said, but she never doubted that her community of 2,700 people would come through. A total of 500 donors contributed to the Save Our Theater effort, including 93 who gave $125 or more, she said. Donations ranged from $3 to $10,000.

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by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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