The scene was right out of an Academy Award winning movie, minus, of course, Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence and Brit Actor Daniel Day-Lewis.
With an anxious crowd waiting outside the Civic Theatre society members, including Mr. Usher Josh Wapp and President Anne DeGrace, lined the top of the stairs with numbered cards while spokesperson Roger Ley took to the podium of unveil the tally in the Civic Theatre Society Community Challenge to raise money for a new digital projector.
The first total relayed to the audience by spokesperson Roger Ley was $148,000-plus . . . which is pretty good considering the goal of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society was $150,000.
But wait, said Ley.
After a shuffle of the people holding the cards, the total increased to $154,000 plus.
Ley said that figure was a few days ago.
But wait again, said Ley.
Thanks to many generous donations, including a $60-grand influx of cash from an anonymous donor, the final total today, May 1, 2013 . . . the drum roll please: $181,525, more than $30,000 more than the original goal.
“We're going digital,” Ley yelled to the crowd from the steps of the Vernon Street facility.
“Finally we’re excited to say that we’re going to be (showing) regularly scheduled movies on weekends all summer long,” Ley continued.
Ley said the Civic Theatre would be back running shows by early June — Friday, Saturday and Sunday along with cheap Tuesday showings.
“Get your costumes and phasers out and get ready to kick off the summer where no Nelson projector has gone before . . . thanks to the support of all the community members, Star Trek Into Darkness will be our first digital movie,” Ley exclaimed.
The Community Challenge kicked off two months ago when Nelson Civic Theatre Society organizers issued the dare to movie lovers to raise $150,000 to purchase a new digital projector.
Most of the donations were either cash donations or seat sponsorships with the vast majority of those were from individuals.
Of course, Wednesday’s news is like a dream come true considering this movement started on the same very steps with a few diehard supporters just 14 months ago.
There a few movie lovers, including Cindy Sherry, stood in front of the Civic Theater lobbying the public for support.
“I thought it was possible, I just didn’t think it would possible this soon,” a beaming Sherry said from the lobby of the iconic theatre.
“To open up the theatre just over a year later after we surveyed the public is pretty remarkable,” Sherry added.
“But I put that down to a very generous community . . . a community with so much enthusiasm along with a dream team of directors who came forward.”
With money in the bank the Civic Theatre Society is ready to give the public what it wants.
“The story of Nelson is we have a great lifestyle here,” Sherry explained. “But the one thing that has been missing for three long years is a theatre. The one missing link . . . the one hole that makes Nelson complete and now we have it.”