“Kigstarter” campaign hits goal three days early

Kiggins Theatre can go digital this year, owner says

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian Arts & Features Reporter



Vancouver, you really Kigged it.

The Kickstarter campaign launched by the Kiggins movie theater last month, raising money for a do-or-die conversion to digital projection technology, has reached its $85,000 goal. As of Friday evening, the website of the crowdfunding campaign was reporting that 729 backers had pledged a total of $88,493 — with three days still left before its Monday morning deadline.

Owner Dan Wyatt has said the movie industry is dumping film and going digital across the board, and that he was faced with the choice to “go digital or go dark” this year. And while everybody claims to love the spacious, historic Kiggins at 1011 Main St., he said, not everybody actually spends money on tickets — which is why he was forced to turn to Kickstarter, an online fundraiser that collects individual pledges to donate to good causes and creative projects.

Also helping out was the CouvFest NW music festival, which made a big donation this past week, he said. There were a handful of other very large donations, Wyatt said, but the vast majority of those 700 supporters pledged amounts like $25 and $35 — and scooped up rewards like tickets, popcorn and T-shirts.

“What I heard going in is, about 80 percent of the donations will be the little guy,” Wyatt said. “That’s what happened.”

Wyatt was starting to feel optimistic about his “Kigstarter” campaign earlier this week — “but I didn’t expect to hit it this soon,” he said on Friday afternoon. “I was still on hustle this morning, making sure we were on track.”

Now, he said, he can move ahead with the $85,000 bid for a digital projection system that he received two months ago. He could have the system up and running in a month, and it will let him show films by Disney and Fox that he wasn’t previously able to screen because of the technology.

And, technically speaking, the “Kigstarter” campaign won’t end until Monday at 10:37 a.m. — precisely 34 days after it kicked off.

“I’m excited about anything over our goal,” Wyatt said, “because we can use it to meet other needs. We have a wish list.” That includes new speakers, real doors to replace the curtains that separate the auditorium from the lobby, and a spiffed-up box office and exterior entryway area.

He’s even got some big ideas about a second auditorium, he said. If you’re still interested in donating, visit http://kigginstheatre.net and scroll down to the “Kigstarter” campaign link.

“I’m very happy. It’s nice to see the community stepped up,” he said.

Scott Hewitt: 360-735-4525; http://facebook.com/reporterhewitt; http://twitter.com/col_nonprofits; scott.hewitt@columbian.com.

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