Darkside’s Funding Gambit Pays Off

By Patrick Fancher

darkside1Last month the Darkside Cinema, which has been Corvallis’ go-to-spot to see independent, foreign, and documentary theatrical releases for many years, announced it desperately needed funds to buy a digital projector. Thirty-five millimeter film projectors are being replaced nationwide, and mainstream movies are no longer available for release in the old format. The Darkside needed $45,000 to purchase a DCP projector and keep its doors open for business.

Paul Turner and his talented staff created a KickStarter campaign, including a well-produced video, which asked for the community’s help in raising the money. They included gifts for certain sized donations, like ticket pass booklets, Darkside T-shirts, free popcorn, and more. Not only did the Darkside meet the necessary $45,000 goal, it exceeded it. As of press time, their page shows $56,730 raised with over 730 backers that chipped in on the cause.

“I am impressed when people start to write me a check at the counter, and I tell them we have reached our goal for the KickStarter (we should have our equipment paid off in a month), but they insist on giving a donation anyway,” Turner said. “[They say] ‘We want to be a part of the effort!'”

Turner has written over 600 thank you notes to all the backers who donated to the campaign and is grateful for the overwhelming support that helped the theater exceed its goal.

“I never imagined so many people from so many different places would be part of keeping the Darkside from sucking less. Whether it’s a few bucks in the can on the counter or many hundreds through KickStarter, it all helps build a future with the Darkside Cinema. It’s amazing.”