Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa's Circle Cinema Foundation to Start Fundraising Effort for Renovations

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa's Circle Cinema Foundation to Start Fundraising Effort for Renovations

Article excerpt

The Circle Cinema Foundation is pursuing a mid-April funding campaign to finally complete its historic 1928 theater.

With the back wall, ceiling and dividing wall finished in December by Jenks contractor L.D. Kerns, the Circle Cinema Foundation needs to install interior finishes on the lobby and two small theaters. That ranges from the carpet, walls and seats to the screens, projection and sound equipment, as well as other infrastructure demands.

The total package carries an estimated $850,000 price tag, although the foundation has some in-kind contribution commitments from local companies that could reduce that. To further control costs, Executive Director Stephanie LaFevers said foundation officials are considering a phased approach, starting perhaps with just the middle theater.

LaFevers said several planned amenities may also be put on hold, from restoring the Circle's original pipe organ to installing wireless Internet and other audiovisual communications systems intended to heighten the four-employee Circle's conference and instructional capabilities.

"We're trying to chisel down our numbers as much as we can to find out exactly what we need initially," said LaFevers. "Later on we can add some of the extras, the technology and some enhancements.

"We want to get another screen or both of those screens open as soon as possible," she said. "We have so many films out there to bring to Tulsa and we're kind of limited by the fact that we only have one major screen right now."

Adding the screen would not only increase the three to five titles Circle Cinema can display each week, but it would more than double the venue size and seating capacity that has limited the foundation to averaging about $500,000 of annual revenue.

"If we had more screens, we can bring potentially bigger, better films, although what we have now we think is very good programming," she said. "But we'll be able to keep films longer. If we had another screen, we'd probably still be showing The King's Speech. It did very well in Tulsa."

The middle theater evolved from a 2006 contractor problem that damaged the theater's back wall and ceiling, ending efforts to restore the historic Circle Cinema. …

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