- Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

September 13, 2013

Guthrie's greenback effort back in limelight

GROVE CITY — Before Hollywood makes 35 mm films a thing of the past, Grove City's Guthrie Theater still needs about $30,000 to purchase a new digital projector to show movies.

"We're shooting for the fall," said Paula Thomas, in making the purchase. She owns the theater with her husband, Eric.

The old-fashioned movie house has already raised about $26,000, with much of it through its Seat Backs for Greenbacks campaign, Thomas added. Any person, business or group who donates $250 gets their name in vinyl on the back of one of the theater's 400 seats.

The fundraiser "got a little lax" over the summer, Thomas said, but the Thomases want to resurrect it again for their push to buy the projector by the fall.

"Hopefully we'll get back on track," she said. "Hopefully we'll raise the money."

After the costs of the vinyl - which is helped by Thomas' brother, who makes them at "a decent rate," she said - the projectors run between $60,000 to $80,000.

Thomas said she isn't sure how many seats have been marked, "But we get two- to- three checks in the mail a week for seat backs," she said.

People have also given lesser donations, like "$50 here and there," she added, towards the projector. Classes from Grove City High School have been raising funds to preserve the single-screen theater.

Other fundraisers included a marketing class at Grove City College. "Students brainstormed ways to raise money for us," Thomas said, which resulted in "a couple thousand dollars."

The students sold T-shirts and posters during the April Guthrie premiere of "Asleep in a Storm," a film by a GCC college student that brought in a full house and lots of fanfare.

The Guthrie allowed the showing for free "and they raised money there for the digital projector, and on campus," Thomas said. Just before summer, her son posted the Seat Backs cause on Indiegogo - a forum for online fundraising similar to Kickstarter - which takes donations of any dollar amount for 30 days.

"We raised a little over $5,000," she added.

For the library's summer reading program, the Guthrie's old digital projector "hit the dust," Thomas said, just before kids were to watch a DVD brought by director Heather Baker.

Saying how the theater needed to be saved, Baker "took out a can and made people donate and got $250," Thomas said. "Now they're getting a vinyl for the library."

Thomas is also in the process of applying for a state grant that is giving matching funds to theaters for digital projectors. "Whether we raise all the money or don't, we'll take a loan to pay for (the projector)," Thomas said. "We've got to do it before the end of the year because of the industry. They're telling us film will be obsolete by the end of the year."

Thomas' heart has been warmed by the generosity of the community. "It's Grove City. The right people are here. They're caring. They don't want the theater to close," she said. "We don't want it to close."

To donate to the Seat Backs for Greenbacks campaign, visit the Guthrie Theater's web site at or visit the theater in Olde Town Grove City along South Broad Street.

Published Aug. 28, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

Text Only
Local News
  • live united fire merkel.jpg Local live United

    The Grove City Area United Way is kicking off a summer campaign that features locals who are examples of how to "Live United."

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • gina burger-file.jpg Police: 'Cool customer' arrested in girl's murder

    An Ohio man charged in the murder of Gina Marie Burger, 16 - whose body was found at Tri-County Industries waste transfer station in Pine Township June 25 - stuffed her body in a playpen bag and carried it past her mother before disposing of the remains in the trash, police said.

    July 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Public questions Rock band director's position

    Slippery Rock school board members on Monday heard from several people who were concerned about the marching band director's position, which has been opened up for anyone to apply.

    July 11, 2014

  • Budget includes tax hike for new teachers

    Property taxes in the Slippery Rock Area School District are going up by 3.62 mills for the 2014-15 school year to cover the cost of hiring four new teachers.

    July 11, 2014

  • Twp. running out of capacity

    Springfield Township is running out of wastewater capacity.

    July 11, 2014

  • cat with owner.jpg Mobile cat clinic curbs overpopulation

    For the sixth year in a row, Grove City Area Pet Rescue has teamed up with Animal Friends of Pittsburgh to offer a low-cost spay/neuter clinic for cats through a mobile unit set up in Plain Grove Township.

    July 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • rock fairy read bloom fair.jpg The Rock blooms under judges' eyes

    America in Bloom judges Katy Moss Warner and Barbara Vincentsen liked what they saw in the Slippery Rock area, where they spent three days evaluating a year's worth of work done by Slippery Rock in Bloom members and volunteers.

    July 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boomtown hears young voices

    Students from the Mercer Area School District were among the 20 participants at the June 17 Mercer Boomtown meeting held at the Mercer County Career Center.

    July 3, 2014

  • Rock trash talk touches on billing, BigBelly

    Slippery Rock council members are still working through a number of garbage-related issues, including a detailed revision of the solid waste ordinance and a proposal to bring solar-powered trash compactors to the borough.

    July 3, 2014

  • ali shawn miller prelim.jpg GC area child assault case heads to county court

    The Grove City-area man accused of grabbing a young boy in the bathroom of the Pine Township Walmart will have his case heard in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide