MIDDLEBURY - Apparently Middlebury's Town Hall Theater is known throughout the galaxy, as aliens recently crash-landed into the theater's bell tower on their way to see a show.
THT is known for creating wildly imaginative membership drives. Earlier drives featured King Kong climbing the side of the building ("Be Part of Something Big!") and a psychedelic VW bus ("Expand Your Mind!") The 2011-12 drive has a 50s science-fiction flavor, and features the slogan "Aliens demand: Take me to your theater!"
"We try to put the fun in fund-raising," said THT executive director Douglas Anderson, who appeared in the local Memorial Day parade as an alien in a green body suit. "It's just a fact of life that non-profit arts organizations depend on memberships to survive. Why not make the process as fun as possible?"
The theme carries over to the theater's summer offerings.
A film series, titled Close Encounters on Merchants Row, will feature some of the best science fiction films ever made: E.T. (June 23), "It Came From Outer Space (Aug. 18), and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (Sept. 1). Tickets for the films, shown on THT's big screen, are only $3.
The drive's brochure is a masterful recreation of a cheap 1950s sci-fi magazine, with flying saucers hovering above the historic building and aliens beaming down to see a show. The aliens have come because they see a few signs of intelligent life in Middlebury.
Town Hall Theater's 2011-2012 Membership Drive runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Anyone looking for more information should call 802-388-1436.