Rescue the historic Hardacre Theater before its 100th birthday!
The Hardacre Theater is a 375-seat venue that has entertained generations with live and filmed entertainment.
Flash-forward to August 2013. After a 97-year run as a mainstay entertainment venue within the small town—first as an opera house, then as a movie theater—the movie industry's rapid switch from 35mm film to digital projection has left small theaters like the Hardacre in a bind. Unable to obtain the 35mm prints and falling into disrepair, the theater's owners decide to close the Hardacre. A small town is left without a cultural touchstone.
Welcome to Phase 1 of our efforts to save the Hardacre Theater.
Construction on the Hardacre Theater started in 1914, and the doors opened in 1916. Jacob Hardacre, its benefactor and a longtime member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, stipulated that the building be used for Odd Fellows functions. (The theater is still decorated with an IOOF sign on its exterior.) Three years later, it screened its first silent film and remained a movie theater (while still hosting live theatrical events) until its closing.
A poster announcing upcoming shows at the Hardacre in 1968.
In 1936, the theater received a new "washed-air air-conditioning system," which is still intact within the building. In December 1948, the building underwent a significant renovation that included a new marquee and remodeling of the interior, continuing its Art Deco style. The IOOF sold the building in 1978 to a local family, who remain its current owners.
In 1996, a local resident with ties to the film industry started the Hardacre Film Festival—Iowa's first film festival and one of the oldest in the Midwest. Held every August, the festival draws independent filmmakers and fans from all over the world to Tipton.
Under new management—hopefully
The Hardacre Theater is located right in the middle of downtown Tipton, Iowa.
When the theater's most recent owner made it clear he was about to retire from the theater business, a group of Tipton residents stepped forward to save the theater from oblivion. In 2012, the Hardacre Theater Preservation Association (HTPA) was formed. In October 2013, the HTPA achieved 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.
The HTPA's mission is to provide an affordable and enriching moviegoing and theatrical experience for our local and surrounding communities. Its vision is to create a multi-use performance space that enhances the quality of life for those it serves. The goal is to create a community-run venue, enhanced by the soul of the town.
The next step: purchasing the theater. That's what Phase 1 of our fundraising campaign is all about.
Fundraising goalsPhase 1 of the HTPA's fundraising campaign has one goal: purchasing the theater. The assessed value and agreed-upon purchase price is $96,100. An anonymous donor has pledged a $40,000 matched donation, which gets us considerably closer to our fundraising goal.
The theater has 375 seats, including the balcony.
The HTPA needs to raise $60,500 (we added $4,400 to cover this campaign's fundraising costs) by January 31, 2014, to purchase the building.Your tax-deductible donation will help us get there! Once this goal is accomplished, Phase 2 (renovating the theater inside and out, and upgrading to a digital projection system) will begin.
Your role in saving the Hardacre
Tipton, a small town of 3,200 residents, has supported the Hardacre Theater for generations. Through its history as one of the last Midwestern opera houses, it has gained widespread support. As the home of Iowa's first-ever film festival, it has become known all over the world as a base for quality filmed entertainment.
The Hardacre Theater Preservation Association needs the help of the Indiegogo community to bring our vision to life. Through small and large donations, a collective fundraising effort will resurrect a Midwestern Art Deco treasure. We have seen the results of several Indiegogo campaigns help theaters adapt to 21st century technology, and we're confident the Indiegogo community will help us get there.
Risks and challenges
WE'RE DOWN TO THE WIRE. The Hardacre Theater Preservation Association is facing a January 31, 2014, deadline to purchase the theater. It was a long road for the HTPA to attain 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, and our fundraising efforts are facing a very strict deadline.
WE'RE A SMALL COMMUNITY. The Hardacre Theater is a 375-seat venue in a small, rural community of 3,200 residents. Although the community has supported the theater for generations, we need the help of a wider, worldwide community before the multimillion-dollar renovation can happen.
WE'RE RACING TO MEET A MILESTONE. In 2016, the Hardacre Theater will celebrate its 100th birthday. What a great story it will be to have a refreshed, state-of-the-art theater all set to go by the time we reach this milestone.
Tipton, Iowa's motto is "Where Dreams Happen." We're hoping Indiegogo will help this very big community dream come true.
Team on This Campaign:
Vice President, Hardacre Theater Preservation Association