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HIGHLAND, IL (KTVI) –Justin McLaughlin wants to use modern social media to help save this old movie theater.

“1975 Christie movie projector, it’s as old as I am,” says Justin McLaughlin the owner of the Lory Theater.  “We want to replace it with a 2013 Christie Digital Projector.”

Movie studios won’t be distributing movies on 35 millimeter anymore so all theaters nationwide will have to upgrade to digital projectors.

Which is what McLaughlin planned, but then he ran into some non-movie mayhem.

“The electrical system was worse than we thought it was, the plumbing system was gone, rotten pipes, broken pipes, missing pipes,”  says McLaughlin.

He and his wife bought this 100 year old theater that had been closed. They did extensive renovations but unseen water damage meant there wasn’t enough money for the new projector.

Now the Lory has a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 for the upstairs projector.

“There’s always a risk with Kickstarter, right?” asks Patrick Clark.  “If you don’t meet it.”

“If we don’t meet it, the money is returned and nobody gets charged which we can look at as a good thing because it protects the people making the pledges,” says McLaughlin.  “They don’t have to put money into something that’s not going to be funded or underfunded or not going to make it.”

But McLaughlin is hopeful movie fans will help him make it…or else the curtains could fall on this little piece of history in Highland, Illinois.

Website: Digitize The Lory Theatre

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