HERO nears phase two goal in Theater project

A local group is nearing its second fundraising goal in its efforts to save the Webster Theater.

The Help Entertain and Restore Organization, HERO, is $1,903 away from reaching that second goal. Deb Brown, Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce Director, said this nearly completed phase of fundraising will go toward purchasing a digital projector and making several renovations to the theater building.

“We’re two-thirds of the way there,” Brown said. “It’s exciting.”

In addition to ongoing donations from local groups, businesses and residents, the project got a financial boost from an online fundraiser. A month-long campaign on the Indiegogo website brought in $6,155 for HERO. A total of 79 people donated to the campaign which offered perks to those who gave.

The group still has a lot of fundraising to do to meet its third and final goal. Brown said HERO is looking to raise one year’s worth of operating expenses, $120,000, before the Theater opens.

However, Brown said that is an ideal goal.

“We will be happy to raise half of that and open the movie theater,” Brown said.

She said the third goal will serve as a cash cushion to pay for employee and service expenses after the theater opens.

HERO is continuing to raise funds by selling “bottomless” buckets of popcorn. Originally given as a perk in the online campaign, Brown said those who purchase a bucket at $60 each can fill and refill it at no additional cost when they come to movies at the theater for one year once it opens.

A promotion to have a name or message engraved onto a theater seat is also continuing. Of the 300 seats at the Webster Theater, Brown said 125 engravings have been sold at $300 each.

After two poster sales, Brown said the theater still has some. She did not say if there would be another poster sale.

HERO is also looking for people to help paint and clean seats at the movie house. Brown said once the weather breaks, volunteers will begin working.

For more information on how to donate, call the Chamber at 832-2564 or go to their office in downtown Webster City. Signup sheets are available at the office for those who wish to volunteer. For more information, visit Facebook.com/SaveTheWebster or WebsterTheater.org