LAKE PLACID — The Palace Theater is nearly come of digital age.
The community has raised more than $125,000 to help the Main Street, Lake Placid, movie theater cross the digital divide.
A final Push for the Palace is underway, along with a special Mirror Lake Inn Challenge for area business owners.
The cost of digital movie equipment has proven challenging for small, local theaters. The Palace Theater was not among four others receiving grants via the North Country Regional Economic Development Council as the funding cycle closed in 2013.
“That’s why we have created a stand-alone Push for the Palace program,” explained Jennifer Jubin, who is helping coordinate Go Digital or Go Dark efforts at the Adirondack North Country Association.
At about the same time, Ed Weibrecht, owner of the Mirror Lake Inn, established the Mirror Lake Inn Challenge.
“Ed Weibrecht is challenging the business community to raise $5,000,” Jubin said Thursday.
Mirror Lake Inn has put up $1,000 already.
“And Ed (Weibrecht) has said, if the community rallies together and reaches the $5,000 mark, he will increase his own and the Mirror Lake Inn’s contribution,” Jubin said.
Weibrecht’s initiative echoes the way the Palace Theater was established decades ago, she said.
“When the Palace was started back in the 1930s, it was started by the community. And the Mirror Lake Inn specifically put in funding to make it happen at the time.”
Both fundraisers, working together, hope to raise the last $25,000 needed for digital conversion at the Palace in Lake Placid.
TWO DONE, TWO TO GO
So far, two of the Palace Theater’s projection rooms have made the conversion required by major motion-picture companies, a process that involves installing new wiring, digital projection equipment and industry-specific security.
Palace Theater owners Reg and Barbara Clark in Lake Placid invested $100,000 initially to convert the first two projection rooms, keeping current with demands from big movie producers.