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What’s happening at The Picture House

How You Can Help The Picture House Community This Holiday Season

by Laura deBuys

The economics of all nonprofits are different, and the economics of a nonprofit movie theater is a world unto itself. Few people understand that when they pay $10 for a movie ticket we have to send as much as $6.50 back to the movie distributor, leaving us with precious little for general operations, much less to support for community-focused programs­ — like our free matinees for seniors and our education programs in under-resourced schools — all of the things that make our mission and vision come to life.

Consequently, nonprofits like The Picture House strive for a 50/50 balance between earned (tickets and popcorn) and raised (grants and donations) revenue. Emerging from the pandemic, this balance has tilted a tad more to the raised side, but we expect it to settle into its 50/50 equilibrium before long.

And that’s an important thing to note: that 50/50 split is what success looks like for a nonprofit movie theater. Year after year, we need to raise general operating support, just as a museum or concert hall does, so that we can meet the needs of our communities in important ways.

We are all still emerging from a global pandemic. Access to the arts and to arts education is an important path toward our communal recovery. We believe that film — and bringing community together to heal — continues to be an important socially, emotionally, and academically. It’s also — a lot of the time — just plain fun!

So, I am coming to you at the beginning of our annual appeal to ask for your help to keep our screens lit, our community inspired, and our classrooms abuzz! 

Please consider donating to The Picture House.