Anonymous donor offers $50,000 challenge grant to Pratt Cinema Four Plex's Board of Directors.
A local, anonymous donor has brought the proposed Pratt Cinema Four-Plex’s Board of Directors a $50,000 challenge grant that has the potential to be doubled to $100,000, according to Stanion Electric President Bill Keller who chairs the non-profit Pratt Community Theater, Inc.
“This is a matching gift and a wonderful opportunity for supporters to help move this project ahead to make it a reality,” Keller said.
“If you pledge $10 it becomes $20, a pledge of $100 becomes $200, a $500 pledge becomes $1,000 and a $10,000 pledge becomes $20,000. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Keller said.
Pledges to date come to $2.3 million of the $3.6 million needed to construct the building, furnish it and open it the public, leaving $1.3 million needed to take plans from the drawing board to construction phase.
Keller said that at this point, the board is only accepting pledges. Donations, when received, will be tax-deductible.
Glenna Borho, who has been tasked to help with fundraising, said that the group is unanimous that the construction funds be raised before ground is broken.
“We don’t want to carry over any construction debt,” Keller said.
“We are secure in our feelings that box-office revenues will cover all of the operating expenses and al- low a margin for unexpected expenses,” Keller said.
The location for the theater is on the north side of Highway 54, across from Walmart. Land for the theater has already been donated.
Plans call for four theater auditoriums with 20x40-foot screens, providing seating capacity for 380 viewers. It will show first-run movies from the latest Hollywood releases, seven days a week. Other amenities are state-of-the-art digital projection and sound system, rocker seats and savory concessions. The theater will be professionally managed, Keller said.
“We feel a theater of this caliber will be a feather in Pratt’s cap and a drawing card for teachers, doctors and other professionals to want to move to Pratt,” Keller said.
Keller also recalled the joy he felt going to movies as a kid in his small hometown of St. Francis, KS.
“I want this for Pratt. Kids need a safe place to go for entertainment,” Keller said.