HOW OLD IS THE THEATRE?
We need to keep improving our heritage theatre facility. The building was built in 1878 and has operated continuously as a movie theatre since 1917. Kiwanis purchased the theatre in 1977 and with the help of community and club sweat equity, has made many improvements over the years. This includes: new roof, new windows, updated projection room, new digital equipment, new seating, concession upgrades, new marquee, community signage, chair lift to washrooms, handicapped washroom upstairs. Club members dug out the lower level meeting room area by hand many years ago.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO DO THIS RENOVATION?
The purchase of the adjacent store space ensures that there will not be another vacant storefront on the street. This new space gives the opportunity to create a new lobby and concession area that will have appropriate work and lounge areas. Most significant will be the addition of accessible washrooms on the main level. Our tiny kitchen must meet public health and safety requirements. The community room level needs to be completely accessible and washrooms and lobby concession need updating. These improvements will meet the increasing family and small group demand for rental space for a wide variety of events. The updates will increase our programming potential such as wine and beer tastings, food tastings and culinary demonstrations/events in conjunction with film and concert events. Dinner and a movie events will become doable again. Our theatre is a community place that brings people together and we want our facility to be safe and welcoming for all.
WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO COMPETE WITH OTHER COMMUNITY KITCHEN FACILITIES SUCH AS KIMBALL HALL, LEGION, FAIRGROUNDS, CURLING CLUB?
Our facility can only accommodate small groups . Dinner and a movie which used to be quite popular can seat approximately 60 people. The Kiwanis Club already has a demand for rental space for family special occasion events and especially childrens’ birthday parties. We cannot allow use of the kitchen in its current state. In 2017 we had 107 organizational and 57 family events in the theatre itself as well as 59 rentals for the community room. The community already uses our facility but we want to improve their experience.
I ALREADY DONATE TO COMMUNITY PROJECTS. WHY DONATE TO THIS ONE?
Our facility is a community place. It provides entertainment for all ages throughout the year. It is a cultural place that hosts film festivals, art exhibits, concerts, special tasting events. It is an educational place that hosts educational film presentations and guest speakers for schools and for the community. It is a meeting place for our partners, for small groups and for families. Community groups can advertise events for free on our digital community bulletin board. We also believe that we contribute to the community economic well being as we bring people to Forest and area. We believe we have a unique and special place that is available and we work each year to build on things that can appeal to a wide range of people. We take pride in the theatre and we believe that the community does as well and will see the value in making these improvements.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO FUNDRAISE?
This is a major project for the Kiwanis Club. We must continue to operate the theatre and all the expenses that go along with maintaining a heritage building , pay our student concession employees, manage ongoing repairs, keep reserve funds for our projection equipment repairs and necessary upgrades. While the club will be committing a designated amount to the project and club members are submitting grant applications, we still must reach out to the community.
WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE BEING ABLE TO DO AS A RESULT OF RENOVATIONS?
Our building will meet health and safety and accessibility requirements which is the primary need for the improvements. We will be able to increase our programming and add to events we already conduct. We will be able to offer” dinner and a movie” once again. We will be able to add to culinary events to link with travel film features, to our film festival events. Ethnic food demonstrations and activities will be possible. The renovations will better meet the needs of families and small groups who already rent our space but are limited in the use of kitchen facilities. Finally, we will have a state of the art expanded and accessible lobby, efficient and functional concession area, main floor accessible washroom and more accessible theatre seating.
HOW MUCH IS THE PROJECTED COST?
The project budget is $475,000.00. The following is a breakdown of our projected costs:
$75,000 – design, engineering, project management
$260,000 – total renovations
$50,000 – kitchen equipment
$50,000 – two main floor washrooms and 1 universal handicap washroom
$40,000 – new concession stand, coffee bar and community room
HOW WILL YOU RAISE THIS MUCH MONEY?
The Kiwanis Club has assumed a short term mortgage for the Flower Shop purchase and will commit to an additional sum for the renovations. We have already received $100,000 from the Municipality of Lambton Shores, $60,000 from the Alix Foundation and $10,000 from the Vibrancy Fund. We will be applying for the following : Federal enabling accessibility grant, Forest Community Foundation, Trillium, LIBRO Prosperity Fund, and others. We will also apply to corporations that offer grants for bricks and mortar for accessibility.