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Buffalo Grove Theater Seeks Public Support to Stay in Business

The theater is running a fundraiser to help it generate money to convert its films to digital technology.

Buffalo Grove Theater is asking for the community’s support as it works to raise the $300,000 it needs to remain open.

The money would cover the cost of the digital equipment that all theaters will soon require in order to show movies Traditional 35-millimeter film will be unavailable by the end of next year.

Buffalo Grove Theater still projects its movies with film. Owner Debbie Benjamin said she must raise the money by March, and have the new digital equipment in place soon after, to keep the five-screen theater open.

Otherwise, she said, “it’s basically a countdown to the end.”

To raise money, the theater is selling admission and concession packages. The offers, which range from $25 to $1,000, include admission tickets and refreshments. For instance, a supporter who pays $100 will receive 16 admission vouchers and four medium popcorn/two small drink combos.

"They're actually getting back more than they're giving," Benjamin said.

The vouchers will be issued at the end of April, and will be transferrable. Details about the offers are posted on the theater's website.

The admission tickets will carry no restrictions, so movie-goers will be able to use them for new releases and 3-D movies, Benjamin said.

Benjamin said she’s optimistic that the community will rally to save the theater. She hopes to reach the fundraising goal before March, she said.

If the goal is not met and the theater closes, donor contributions will be returned, she said.

Since the theater launched its fundraising campaign last week, it has raised about $700, Benjamin said.

“We’re kind of hoping that people who come here support us like they did the Barrington theater,” she said.

Independent theaters across the region have faced financial challenges recently. In Barrington, the owners of the historic Catlow Theater launched for its digital conversion. They received an outpouring of support from fans, who made donations through a fundraising website in August. They exceeded their goal is less than a week.

In Arlington Heights, Arlington Theaters closed in July after its owner was unable to negotiate a deal on a new lease and digital technology upgrades.

Meanwhile, the City of Highland Park shut down the Highland Park Theatre in May because it did not meet fire codes. The city, which owns the theater, has not yet decided whether to invest $90,000 to reopen the main screen.

For more information about Buffalo Grove Theater's campaign, visit the website or email movies@bgtheater.com.

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Cicada October 28, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Sad to say I don't see the theater raising this money. I just spoke to some residents to make them aware of the theater and to see if they wanted to help. One was indifferent, one wanted to know why a for profit business wants money from patrons so they can make more money, and the other said they should get a loan for it. All of them complained it's too small and needs remodeling. An uphill battle indeed.
Jeff Rodgers October 28, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Called survival of the fittest. The theater blows and should go away. Give them 300,000 and it will still blow. Surrounded by horrific stores in a run-down strip mall, see ya, good riddance, you will not be missed.
Momma October 28, 2012 at 02:35 PM
The lack of funds for going "digital" is one problem. What about that the place smells and is dirty?
Buffalo Grove Theater October 28, 2012 at 10:41 PM
We do run a lot of family films but there are very few movies that come out any more with a G rating. Wreck It Ralph comes opend here Friday and that is by Disney and has a PG on it. If you join our facebook we do listen to our customers and take suggestions on movies they would like to see. Thank You
Buffalo Grove Theater October 28, 2012 at 10:42 PM
We are hoping BG Supports us like they have other small Theaters. Thank You for your comment and using our theater.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 28, 2012 at 10:56 PM
In case you have not been here for a while we have cleaned the placed up and the place doesn’t smell. We also have new screens, sound and other improvements since we took over a few years ago. We are not the sub-run trash theater of BG anymore and have NOT been for a few years now. We now show movies when they open day one. When we took this place over we decided to make it a nice safe place for the community. To get seats will cost over 100K and there is no point in that investment until we go digital. The seats have been fixed until we can replace them in the future.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 28, 2012 at 11:00 PM
We used to show an older movie for $1.00 but not enough people came to see them and it cost the Theater in losses about $3,000.00 for the summer this is why we don’t do them anymore. Please watch the website because we are opening up family movies as they come out as much as possible. If you join our Facebook page we do write back, read and listen to what people are looking for and that helps us when ordering movies in. Wreck-It Ralph is the next Disney family movie and it opens next weekend. Once again thank you for your support and comments they are always welcome. Also this year at Easter we will be doing our Free Easter Egg Hunt for the kids.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 28, 2012 at 11:02 PM
I am sorry to hear that but we are giving people back more then what they are donating and we don't want to raise prices. Thank you for the input.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Sorry you feel that way but a lot of people do like our theater and can't afford to go anywhere else and it would be a shame it this doesnt work.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM
The place doesn't smelll and is NOT Dirty maybe you have not been here in a long time. It is under new management.
Momma October 29, 2012 at 01:39 AM
I was there last week to see "Argo". Dirty and smells.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 29, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Like Popcorn and not dirty. I think you just have a bad opion of the place because of the past. Many people come here and tell me how clean and nice the place is so not to be rude byt you are very wrong. We work very hard every day inbetween shows and at night after we close to keep this place clean and we do.
BG4Life October 29, 2012 at 02:34 AM
The theater is not clean and the place smells like ass. The seats are uncomfrotable and the outside ticket window with unfrindly associates that sit while working is also lame. The upgrade is one issue, the seating is another loan that that would be needed. Hey, if this hole were so lovely, getting a loan would be a slam dunk, Maybe turn it into a porno flick place where the fith and smell would be more tolerated.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 29, 2012 at 04:51 AM
BG4like, Maybe the people dowing the Theater are the people who we have let go or just people that tried to bring in BK and we wouldn't let them. If we get loans prices would have to go up and this is waht we are trying to avoid. Maybe you should appreciate that you have a nice clean theater stil when other towns have already lost theirs.
Cicada October 29, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Instead of insulting the theater lets help them with some ideas. Maybe the theater can fill a niche for documentary/foreign/Indy films. It would be nicer than driving to CineArts 6 in Evanston. Or what about making it like IPic in South Barrington or the Hollywood in Woodridge where there is a food service?
JasonRAnders October 29, 2012 at 09:08 AM
I have not been there in awhile. Are the seats now comfortable? Irrespective if the prices are lower, it will not be worth a trade off of a sore back. I recommend increasing the prices coupled with having the appropriate amenities. Clearly pandering to the lowest common denominator is not working. Try to succeed with quality. I agree with Cicada that having specialty movies would be good. I go to HP for that now.The issue remains that the theater is no more comfortable than watching a movie on a card chair in an assembly hall. BGTheater, it looks like the people of the community have voted. Despite your insistence to the contrary, people will pay for quality. There is a reason people do not go there. Instead of burying your head and pretending your product is better than it is you need to come to realization that it is not. I think you are foolish to think that people who do not like the theater are individuals that try to bring BK in the venue. This is a silly generalization and indicative of your unwillingness to look at the real issue.
Brian Lee October 29, 2012 at 04:23 PM
My family will show support for this theater. We'll invite some friends, too.
jen October 29, 2012 at 04:50 PM
My goodness folks, look at all these silly gripes about a movie theater. Obnxious pompous folks such as these, are one of the reasons i'm so glad to have left Buffalo Grove. You're paying a very little price to see a movie compared to one of the larger places, THIS IS A SMALL FAMILY OWNED business, which you should be supporting, you cannot expect top notch everything here. Maybe it's not the seats that are the issue but the bodies that are too large for the seats! I've been coming here since I was a teenager, and i'd be sad to see this place go. You have my support and i'm sorry you have to deal with these silly complaints. People like this give Buffalo Grove residents a bad name.
American1 October 29, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Buffalo Grove Theater, Apparently no one including myself knew someone cleaned up that filthy place. Why not? Try some advertising. Maybe Grand re-opening.. I have kids, took them once, and was so grossed out, I never went back. I'll give it another try.
Judy Yublosky October 29, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Let's get a grip here!!! Buffalo Grove Theater is just trying to run a business. If you do not agree with their practices and don't enjoy your experiences there I have a solution..... just don't go there. There is no need to be insulting. The Buffalo Grove Theater has been around for many years and they have endured, and even reinvented themselves, while operating in a dying shopping center. Give them some credit for that.
Mark Bushey October 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I have not been there in a few months, but last time I was there it did still seem that it needed some cleaning and fixing up. That being said, I still like the fact you can go to a movie without paying an arm and a leg. People complain about the lack of stadium seating, but there are other theaters around without that seating that seem to be doing fine. Do you have an online order form for the packages you are selling?
kyleGLeddy October 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Having received my first HJ in the theater it has some sentimental value. As an investor, I have to laugh. The place has a zero percent chance of success. The owner sounds like a kid without a clue. If there were a better game plan (ie ANY game plan for success perhaps it would be more attractive)
kyleGLeddy October 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM
"Insulting" is asking for $300k. "Just dont go there"... That is the point. People don't I will give 1/2 credit for the effort. At the end of the day, first run movies in a second rate environment does not work. This theory is solid and applies to a lot of ventures. IF you want to run first run movies, fix the venue. If you want to have a bad environment and pretend it is good, you are toast.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 31, 2012 at 03:18 AM
We have the packages on the wesite and if you want to call the theater you can to donate.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 31, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Sorry you feel that way but we have fixed and cleaned up the Theater and it is now a nice place to go and watch a movie.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 31, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Thank you very much. There seems to be many people that have not been to the Theater since we took over and made all the changes that we have done. I hope your post and all the other ones by people that come here on a regular basis help.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 31, 2012 at 03:32 AM
KyleGLeddy, I am sorry you feel this way but we have upgraded the Theater in many ways in the past few years since we took it over. I think your comment is very uncalled for and I would bet that you have not been here for at least the last few years. If the people of BG came here since we took over the theater and did the all the work we have done so far to fix the place up then maybe we would have new seats instead of fixing what was here. The people complaining should maybe realize that if you don’t support a business then upgrades and changes take more time to complete. This Theater was a mess when we took it over but now it is NOT. I guess it is hard for some of the BG people to give second chance to a business that has helped support the community for years. As for the BG residents that do come here and support the Theater we Thank you for your business and support no and in the long run.
Buffalo Grove Theater October 31, 2012 at 03:35 AM
I am not a kid I have been very successful in helping Business that need it over the years. Please don't make comments about me when you don't know me what so ever. The first comment of the HJ shows that it is a good thing we cleaned up the place and got rid of the riff-raff.
Scott November 01, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Most of these people who bash the theater are the idiots who hide behind their keyboard anyhow. Yes the place used to be kind of sad in the past but it was $2 to see a movie. What do you want for $2? Since then the place has upped the price but it is a lot cleaner and nicer. The seats are typcial older theater seats. I don't really enjoy dumping half my paycheck to go to Regal to see a movie. If some of these people want the creme of the crop theater, then go to them and pay those prices. I can't say my family goes often but we go enough and I would love to see them stick around.
Buffalo Grove Theater November 03, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Thank you. We did and do still advertise and I am sorry that you didn't get to participate in any of the things we did. We had Sharp at the Theater from the Hawks to help us promote the Theater. I look forward to you giving us another try.

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