Save the Hardacre Theater! Resurrect a Midwestern landmark

Help this nearly 100-year-old Iowa theater live to see another century! Donations needed to purchase and renovate this multi-use entertainment space.
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Will Valet
Theater
Tipton, Iowa
United States
2 Team Members

Rescue the historic Hardacre Theater before its 100th birthday!

1-30-14 UPDATE: WE DID IT! 

The Hardacre Theater Preservation Association has managed to raise $114,000 to save the Hardacre! In addition to Indiegogo funds, donations were sent to the HTPA via check and cash—including two $40,000 donations that made up the bulk of our total. 
ALL funds raised via Indiegogo will go directly toward Phase 2 of our campaign—renovating the theater!
THANK YOU for supporting our cause!
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In the early 1900s, Jacob Hardacre had a vision. He wanted a community space in Tipton, Iowa, that could be used to celebrate culture and improve the quality of life for its residents. His estate left funds to build a theater, and in 1916, his vision became a reality. The Hardacre Theater opened in downtown Tipton.


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.

Hardacre history

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 goals

Phase 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.


Find This Campaign On
$20,500USD
raised by 149 people in 1 month
34% funded
No time left
Verified Nonprofit
$60,500 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on January 30, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    I Want to Help!

    You will be added to the donors list with a BIG THANK YOU on our website at thehardacre.org.

    6 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $10USD
    Break a Leg!

    Free drink and popcorn ($5 value) at a post-renovation Hardacre movie screening, and website acknowledgement.

    7 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $20USD
    Ticket Booth

    Free ticket, drink, and popcorn at a post-renovation Hardacre movie screening ($12 value), and website acknowledgement.

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $25USD
    Orchestra Pit

    Two (2) free tickets, drinks, and popcorn at a post-renovation hardacre movie screening ($18 value), and website acknowledgment.

    20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $50USD
    Fest Guest

    Two (2) free all-festival passes to the next scheduled Hardacre Film Festival, with drinks and popcorn ($50 value), and website acknowledgement.

    10 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $75USD
    Box Office

    Four (4) tickets for a post-renovation Hardacre movie screening, with drinks and popcorn ($40 value), and website acknowledgment.

    10 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $100USD
    Your Name in Lights

    A one-week "thank you" on the Hardacre marquee, tickets for four (4), with drinks and popcorn, at a post-renovation movie screening ($40 value). One (1) limited edition lithograph of the Hardacre marquee by a local artist, and website acknowledgement.

    20 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $125USD
    The Show Must Go On

    A "Hardacre Family Outing Package" with a $30 voucher at a local restaurant, tickets for four (4), with drinks and popcorn ($70 value). lithograph, and website acknowledgement.

    6 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $150USD
    Front-Row Seats

    A personalized theater seatback (engraved) naming you or your family (limit one seatback per donation), plus four (4) free tickets, drinks, and popcorn at a post-renovation movie screening ($40 value), lithograph, and website acknowledgment.

    16 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $200USD
    Projectionist

    Run the projector at a post-renovation Hardacre movie screening, with tickets for ten (10) friends or family members ($60 value), one (1) limited edition Hardacre T-shirt with design by local artist, lithograph, seatback, and website acknowledgement.

    1 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $250USD
    Director's Chair

    A seatback with your name on a placard when the theater is restored. An invitation to the first Hardacre regularly scheduled movie event, and ten (10) free movie passes, each with free drink and popcorn ($110 value), T-shirt, lithograph, and website acknowledgment.

    10 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $500USD
    Producer

    Donors will become "Hardacre VIPs" and will receive an invitation for two (2) to the Hardacre's first post-restoration kickoff event, with food and entertainment, ten (10) free movie passes ($60 value), two (2) Hardacre T-shirts, seatback, lithograph, and website acknowledgment.

    4 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Mogul

    Donors will become "Hardacre VIPs" and will receive an invitation for two (2) to the Hardacre's first post-restoration kickoff event, with food and entertainment, along with a PERSONAL SCREENING for you and up to 100 friends/family members of the film of your choice once the theater is renovated. Also, twenty (20) free movie passes ($120 value), two (2) T-shirts, lithograph, seatback, and website acknowledgment.

    2 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $2,500USD
    Studio Head (Business Package)

    Business VIP Package—Created specially for regional business owners who want to donate. A private screening of a film of your choice for up to 100 employees and one (1) year of free advertising during our preshow ad loop, and Sponsorship-level website acknowledgment.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $2,500USD
    Sneak Preview

    A Hardacre VIP Package with an invitation for two (2) to the Hardacre restoration premiere event. Two (2) lifetime all-festival passes to the Hardacre Film Festival, twenty (20) free movie passes ($120 value), two (2) T-shirts, lithograph, seatback, and VIP-level website acknowledgement.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Premiere

    Hardacre VIP Package with a room for two at the Spear Bed and Breakfast and an invitation to the Hardacre restoration premiere event, plus four (4) lifetime all-festival passes to the Hardacre Film Festival, thirty (30) free movie passes ($180 value), two (2) T-shirts, lithograph, seatback, and VIP-level website acknowledgment.

    0 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
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