Theatre out ‘Foxed’
by David Tesitor
WALSENBURG — Three weeks ago there was reason to celebrate as the local Fox Theatre announced they had received the last of the grant money needed to go ahead and purchase the new $80,000 digital projector which was necessary to keep the movie house open and able to bring in first run movies, sporting events and speakers from across the country. There was even a discussion of bringing the Super Bowl to the Fox digitally.
For the past year, donations from various individuals and companies and small grants have come pouring in to help keep the Fox alive. The goal was close to being met with the promise of $ 25,000 from the USDA so the projector was ordered. With the exception of monies needed to improve the hook-up, wiring, and sound, the theatre will be brought into the 21st century.
On Tuesday the Fox ordered the projector from Heartland Theatre Services Company and sent in a down payment of $34,000. A slight problem arose however after the government shutdown forced non-essential personnel to stay home. This included the office at the USDA which would send the grant money to the Fox. For now, a button to transfer the holdings is locked away in a bureaucratic nightmare.
One official at the USDA who spoke to Monica Bierer about when the grant money would be sent said people need to call their representatives and tell them to end the shutdown so that people could get back to work and allow the government to operate. The Fox is one of a number of small businesses in communities across the country relying on grants to stay afloat.
An official from Heartland will be in town next week to go over the specs on what needs to be done to upgrade the old movie house. So far plans for a grand opening have been put on hold until the projector is paid for and installed. For now, the Fox will continue to show first run movies and will operate at status quo.