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Reported Sale Squashes Kickstarter Campaign To Save Larchmont Playhouse

A kickstarter campaign aimed at keeping the Larchmont Playhouse an independent movie theater was suspended this week after reports surfaced the cultural center had been purchased by a developer.
A kickstarter campaign aimed at keeping the Larchmont Playhouse an independent movie theater was suspended this week after reports surfaced the cultural center had been purchased by a developer. Photo Credit: Provided

LARCHMONT, N.Y. – The curtain has come down on a grassroots attempt to save a cultural center in Larchmont.

According to a post on kickstarter.com by The Picture House in Pelham, the campaign to keep The Larchmont Playhouse going raised $85,192 in about a week.

The kickstarter bid hoped to raise a total of $125,000 as a way of showing community interest in preserving the cultural anchor and for future operating costs.

Raising money to actually buy the building was a separate effort, said Laura Debuys, president of The Picture House Regional Film Center.

The kickstarter bid was suspended this week after reports surfaced about a developer purchasing the Playhouse for more than $1 million.

Debuys said she personally knew no details “other than it's an actionable offer” near the asking price of $1.5 million.

The higher bid threw the center into “a different financing position,” Debuys said, adding that “as a mission-driven, community based cinema,” it couldn’t “sensibly move forward at this point.”

Debuys said those who donated to the campaign won’t be charged.

Had the kickstarter campaign reached its goal of $125,000 and then collapsed, organizers would then have had to pay back the donors, and been liable for thousands of dollars in credit card fees, she said.

Though disappointed with the situation, the center was asking the public to continue supporting independent films and the preservation of local film centers “before they all disappear.”

The fact nearly $90,000 was raised in such a short period of time “shows that the people of Larchmont want this (the Playhouse) to remain an independent cinema,” Debuys said.

To read the original kickstarter campaign post, click here.

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