A beloved Fairfax movie theater is holding a month-long crowdfunding drive in an effort to give their customers a more comfortable movie-going experience.
Throughout the month of August, University Mall Theatres in Fairfax is holding a “Save Our Butts” fundraiser campaign, hoping to raise $100,000 for new movie theatre seats — or at least nicer used ones.
The theatre, located across the street from George Mason University in Fairfax, is a beloved bohemian hangout that shows second-run movies.
“I absolutely love University Mall Theatres,” said Reston resident Leslie Leviton. “It has reasonable prices, such character and personality, and absolutely the best popcorn of any theater in Fairfax County.”
With regular ticket prices under $6 and $2 on Tuesdays, the theater is a student and cult-classic crowd favorite with a dedicated Rocky Horror Picture Show audience that is decked out and ready to patronize the theatre’s showing of the transvestite alien vampire film every Saturday night.
“Our current seats, which we replaced only a few years ago, are already literally falling apart,” said General Manager Daniel Collings. “The other day the entire back of one just fell off, leaving some poor person with no way to lean back. Newer used movie theatre seats are not cheap. They cost about two hundred bucks apiece — and we need 500 of them. Ordinarily we’d borrow the money from the bank, but just last year we had to buy new digital projectors that set us back about $200,000. We borrowed as much money as the bank would lend us without raising our incredibly low prices, but now we need new seats, or at least nicer used ones. The current seats just have to go.”
Using the crowdfunding site “Kickstarter,” Collings and the theatre is offering several movie ticket and popcorn packages as well as many other prizes for a variety of different donation levels.
“We want to offer contributors more value than their donation,” he said.
Collings said about 1,500 of the theatre’s loyal following have so far pledged nearly $64,000 toward the renovation project, but with only two weeks left to go, much more is needed.
According to Collings, the floor beneath the seats has also taken quite a beating over the years.
“We are going to have to repair it before putting in new seats. Although this will cause each of our auditoriums to close for a day, it is absolutely necessary for the perfect transformation. If by any miracle we raise more than a hundred grand we will turn this place into a palace,” he said.
For more information visit, www.kickstarter.com/projects/dan-the-man/university-mall-theatres-save-our-butts.