We really need your help!! I'm Chris Ball and my wife Tammy own and operate the Towne Cinema. The Towne Cinema is a building located in the heart of West Liberty, KY, that was constructed in 1971 and went operational on Thanksgiving Eve in 1972. This would be its 40th anniversary this November. It's a brick and mortar theater. It is one of two underground theaters in North America. Our box office is level with Main St, and when you purchase your ticket you go downstairs into the lobby and then into the auditorium. Our projector is over 50 years old; it's an old Century projector with an old Christie lamphouse. Our projector setup is before the creation of platter systems or digital cinema.
On March 2nd, our town was struck by an EF3 tornado. It took out all but four of our restaurants. It struck all the government buildings and offices. It devastated almost all of the local banks. And it also struck the Towne Cinema. We don't own the building, but own the equipment, which everything inside suffered water damage because it blew the roof off the building above us and rain and melted snow (we got 5 inches of snow 3 days after the tornado) seeped through their floor through our roof. We are 99% certain that the building will be demolished and we have begun, and almost finished with, salvaging what we could.
Our intent is to purchase a lot in our little home town and put a three screen theater with an arcade and a museum of sorts honoring the history of cinema in West Liberty, KY. I don't care if we make one red cent; our community needs a way to escape the tragedy our county and community suffered in a way that only movie magic can provide. We were turned down both by FEMA and the SBA. Everything we had was in the equipment (which we still owe for) and now we're left with nothing. We want to our little town to have the best little theater in the world, and without your help we won't be able to make it possible...
We want to so desperately replace our old equipment because it is long overdue to retire: the projector, screen, sound system, concession equipment, the seats in the auditorium; we want our community to be able to enjoy and to take pride in an all new theater. Our community needs a place where their mind can escape from the tragedy and devastation it has suffered. And people are already asking us: when are you reopening? We keep hearing from the community that we are the ONLY thing for our children to do besides the local community center gym, and right now it is boarded up due to the damage from the EF3 tornado.
Donations will go to the building and equipment (concessions, digital cinema equipment, sound systems, etc) costs for a new Towne Cinema, a place where our youth and our community can come and enjoy a movie in their hometown. Again, I thank you for your time in reading our letter and hope you can aid us in any way, either financially or by spreading the word to your friends and family or both.
591 Main St
West Liberty, KY 41472
Chris Ball, business owner