M&T Bank grant will allow Riviera to continue offering movies
North Tonawanda's Historic Riviera Theatre and Performing Arts Center has announced M&T Bank stepped in to close the funding gap for the industry-mandated digital film projection conversion that will allow the Riviera Theatre to continue to play movies. M&T Bank will become the main corporate sponsor for all movie events at the Riviera Theatre for the next five years.
The Riviera Theatre was notified by film distributors that, by the end of 2014, 35mm film will no longer be supported and only digital films will be available. The Riviera currently uses Arc Light Projectors that have been in the theatre since the 1940s. The Riviera needed to acquire a digital film projector to continue to show current and future movies.
The total cost of the digital film projection conversion project is $84,686, which includes the equipment purchase and electrical and construction upgrades to the theater projection booth.
Major funding for this project was provided by M&T Bank, The New York State Council on the Arts and the Rotary Club of Kenmore. Generous donations from the community, patrons and local businesses also helped to reach the funding goal.
"We want to thank M&T Bank for supporting the Riviera Theatre along with our other funding partners," said Gary J. Rouleau, Riviera Theatre director of development. "Over the past several years, we have seen the resurgence of growth and activity in and around the theater as we have made major improvements to the theater and increased events. We could not have done this without the support of the community."
As a nonprofit organization, the Riviera's income is based on ticket and concession sales and funding from donations and grants. The digital projection conversion project is a critical part of hosting a wide variety of diverse events and critically needed for the sustainability of the preservation of the historic theater.
Riviera events include movies, comedy, live concerts, Mighty WurliTzer concerts, opera, musicals, high school graduations, dance recitals, weddings, corporate events/rentals, the Family Film Series, Summer Classic Film Series, film festival, educational films for school groups, film premiers, annual movies (including "Rocky Horror Picture Show," "The Big Lebowski" and "Stoogefest"), business seminars/trainings and silent movie screenings.
The Historic Riviera Theatre holds more than 170 events and hosts 100,000 visitors annually.
The current 35mm ARC projectors will be preserved within the original location of the Riviera for historic and educational purposes.
For more information on the Historic Riviera Theatre, visit www.RivieraTheatre.org.
For more information on M&T Bank, visit www.mtb.com/aboutus/community/Pages/TheMTCharitableFoundation.aspx.