We are as surprised as anyone that we have launched another crowdsourcing campaign less than a year after our first one succeeded in Returning Film to the Palace.
But with that success, more than we had imagined, has come the realization that we need to continue to upgrade the cinematic experience for our audience. If we are attracting 700, 800, over 1,300 people to a screening than we need to keep elevating our game.
And right now, the existing screen just isn't cutting it.
It was installed in the 1950s. Spent nearly four decades moldering up in the Palace fly space above the stage. Has taken a beating over the years by some careless renters.
After we cleaned it last year for the first campaign we realized that it had to be replaced. The dirt, scratches, and holes are never more apparent than when we screen black and white films. When we hosted "Casablanca" in November a new hole in the screen seemed to diabolically appear right around Ingrid Bergman's left eye in her glamour close ups. So much for suspending disbelief.
Over the last several months we struggled to find the right plan to replace the screen. Then all the pieces came together a few weeks ago when our new friends at Toshiba introduced us to Howard Freedman, who has been working in New York City theatres for over 30 years. For $20,000 we can install a new Harkness screen, a leader in the industry, using our existing frame. The image will be more luminous, more magical, and provide a richer cinematic experience for our audiences.
If we hustle, we can even have it in place before we screen the original King Kong on April 27.
That gave us the motivation to launch the campaign to "Raise a New Screen at the Palace."
You can learn more about it on our Indiegogo page: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/raise-a-new-screen-at-the-palace/x/1974676.
We know many of you gave to the last campaign, which wasn't that long ago. If it's too soon to give again please help us out by spreading the word and telling your networks about this hidden gem in Washington Heights that we are trying hard to unhide.
Your support is critical in our ongoing efforts to breathe new life into this magnificent theatre. If you keep coming back to the Palace we promise to keep working to improve its capacity to present world-class events. After the new screen is in place we will begin strategizing how to upgrade the theatre's audio and projection as well.
But until then, at least it will be easier to get lost in our cinematic dreams as we gaze upon the newly crystal clear picture.