Live theater, concerts, first-run and art house films, and social gatherings, the Indian Lake Theater is literally the heartbeat of Indian Lake. Originally built as a movie house in 1938, the theater showed films for nearly seven decades before closing.
In spring 2007, a local volunteer organization completed its purchase of Indian Lake’s 250-seat Main Street Theater. Their vision was to show films and stage theatrical and other productions year-round for the 1,400 residents of the community.
That vision has been realized. The Indian Lake Theater is making a difference in the daily life of this and its surrounding communities.
Now the theater has hit another milestone: Going digital.
June 14 was a historic moment for the theater, says Indian Lake Theater Board President Ben Strader. It was when two kids were chosen from the audience to start the first digital movie, which was the aptly named “Epic.” Then after the film, attendees came up to the booth to check out the new projector.
All told, the digital project will cost about $80,000. “We had to do a lot of electrical work to be up to specs for the new equipment, which added to our total,” said Theater Director Danielle Shaw. With the help of a matching grant from the Charles Wood Foundation and great donors, the theater hopes to have the new projector paid off by the end of the summer.
While the work is done, donations are needed to help fund this project. For more information, call the Theater at 648-5950.
The Adirondack North Country Association recently announced two new funding opportunities through the state:
•$400k Loan Fund: Two weeks ago, the North Country Regional Economic Development Council approved the reassignment of $400,000 in funds for a short-term loan fund for theaters that need financial assistance to upgrade to digital technologies.
•CFA Grant: New York State’s Council on the Arts (NYSCA) has announced a grant program geared toward non-profit arts organizations, such as The Strand in Plattsburgh or the Indian Lake Theater, for digital conversions. The grants will pay for up to 50 percent — or $100,000 — of total project costs.
ANCA is helping to coordinate a community-based campaign as well as outreach to major donors. At campaign’s conclusion, the funds will be dispersed as grants to the theaters. Donations can be made online to a general fund or any of these theaters:
•The Hollywood, Au Sable Forks
•The Palace, Lake Placid
•The Strand, Old Forge
•The Strand, Plattsburgh
•The Strand, Schroon Lake
•Cinematheque, South Glens Falls
•The State, Tupper Lake
Donations can also be made “offline” by check to ANCA, 67 Main St., Saranac Lake, NY 12983. Indicate the theater and community you are giving to on your check.