How You Can Help The Picture House Community This Holiday Season
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!