Historic Preservation Month Feature: Kress Cinema & Lounge in Greeley

13 May

KRESS CINEMA & LOUNGE
Go Digital or Be Left Behind!
(Kickstarter Project Motto)

City: Greeley, CO
Population: 96,962
Historic Structure: Originally the Kress Department Store:
Year Built: 1920. Renovated in 2007 for theater.
Privately Owned

KressThe Kress Cinema & Lounge is a privately owned theater in historic downtown Greeley located within the historically renovated Kress Building that recently faced challenges imposed by Hollywood’s digital requirements.  The highly decorated, art deco department store was originally built in 1920 and with the historic preservation passion of the Thompsons, was renovated into a theater in 2007.  As a contributing structure to the Historic Downtown Greeley, the Thompsons saved everything they could, including the ceilings, floors and columns.

Shortly after the opening in 2008 the theater was faced with the challenges from Hollywood and digital movie production.  Unfortunately, at the start of the renovation work the standards set by digital movies were not clear and the theater did not conform to the new changes.  The theater needed to convert fully to digital technology by 2013, which is when Hollywood will no longer be producing 35mm film movies.   The Thompsons turned to the community and the Kickstarter program for help, as they feared they would be closing the theater in 2013.

KICKSTARTER & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT:

In 2012 the theater launched a Kickstarter program after seeing the success from the Lyric Cinema Café in Fort Collins.  The Kickstarter program brought the community involvement to the forefront of the theater’s survival.  As the only independent movie theater in Greeley and a valued business, it was important to the community to work together to raise the money.  A goal of the Kickstarter was to not only upgrade to the digital technology but to show that this was an investment in the community.

Through varying incentives and donor memberships, the theater exceeded their goal of $80,000.  Partnerships with the Chamber of Commerce, DD Authorities, local newspapers, and social media also played a role in the fundraising success.  The Kress Cinema has successfully converted to digital technology and meets the standards set by Hollywood.  The theater recognizes the importance of the community and is available for parties, weddings, receptions, business meetings, live comedy, community forums, fundraisers and weekly local music.  With a restaurant and bar within the theater there are more events available and the ability for several events to be held simultaneously.

Check out the Kickstarter Website:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kresscinema/keep-the-kress

COMMUNITY IMPACT

The Kress Cinema intends to support and work with the community and partner with nearby businesses to integrate events and activities within Greeley.  Additional money raised will be used to purchase spare parts, repair furniture and to upgrade the kitchen equipment.  The theater offers a memorable experience for their guests with a full-service restaurant and bar, intimate Art Deco lounges and a newly converted digital theater.

For more information visit: http://www.kresscinema.com

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