Survival of theatre is up to us
“Here's $10. That should be enough for admission and some candy,” my mom said as she handed me a crisp bill, dropping me off on the corner of Main and Bradley. “I'll pick you up right after the movie.”
And like that, she was off. My 10-year-old self searched around until I spotted the group of friends I was meeting up with. I still couldn’t believe it! My mom let me go to the movies with just my friends — no adults!
I joined my group of friends and we chattered about the trailers we had seen for the movie while waiting for the rest of our group to arrive. Eventually, once everyone showed up, we ventured in the Town Hall Theatre, grabbed some candy, took our seats and were swept away into the world of the movie.
There was really nothing particularly special about that night, but for me, it felt like a rite of passage. It was one of my first memories of having the feeling of independence, of freedom. That wasn’t my first fond memory involving the theatre, however, nor would it be my last.
The theatre has been a mainstay in my life ever since I can remember. The first movie I ever saw there was “American Tale,” the cartoon of a poor immigrant mouse named Feivel. I remember standing in line around the corner, waiting to see “Home Alone.” Only two other movies, that I can remember, attracted lines around the corner of Bradley Street: “Dances with Wolves” and “Titanic.”
As I grew older, I still went to the theatre on a regular basis. In high school, I sneaked my first kiss there. I’m sure I’m not the only one with that memory.
There have been plenty of times I myself have been up on stage there, as well. While attending Feather River College, I played Yosil the hat-maker in a production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” On two occasions, I got up on stage and slaughtered jokes as a stand-up comedy bit. There were countless live shows that I helped with or participated in, in one form or another.
To sum all this up, that theatre means a lot to me. And once again, I’m sure I’m not the only one. The theatre is, and has been for years, the backbone of Quincy’s downtown.
Now, with the Hollywood studios switching to digital film only, the theatre needs a new projector or it will close. The theatre doesn’t make enough money on ticket sales to afford a new projector on its own, though. To put it simply, it’s up to us in Plumas County to raise the money to keep the theatre open.
The closing of the theatre would be detrimental to Quincy on both a cultural and economic level, and we can’t let that happen. The theatre is the only fixed-seat auditorium in the county, providing a venue for first-class performances. It is also the only movie theatre left in Plumas County.
The theatre draws a crowd to downtown multiple nights a week. Those same theatre-goers also often grab a bite to eat at one of the downtown restaurants and a drink afterward at one of the local bars. Quincy can’t afford another blow to the downtown economy after the destruction of the Pizza Factory and the conjoined businesses by fire last year.
Roxanne Valladao said it best in the Help Save Our Theatre video, accessible at plumasarts.org. “Nothing says ‘dead town’ like a boarded-up movie theatre.”
Luckily, the solution to this dilemma is fairly easy. Donate. If it’s $10, $30, $100 or $1,000, donate. Your money will go a long way and to a great local cause.
Plumas Arts needs to raise $70,000 to buy the new projector, and so far the display of public support has been tremendous. There is still money needed, however, and every little bit helps. To help save our theatre, and prevent another hard blow to our local economy, go to plumasarts.org and donate. At this point, it’s all up to us.