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Catlow Theater Surpasses Fundraising Goal

The iconic Barrington movie theater has raised more than $100,000 to convert from film to a digital format.

, the historic in Barrington has raised more than $100,000 in donations to help it convert to the digital age.

The Main Street icon needs to convert from film to digital in order to stay in business. Hollywood movie makers are rapidly getting rid of film, forcing all theaters to make the switch.

Catlow owners Tim O’Connor and Roberta Rapata reached out for help in raising the $100,000 needed to make the conversion possible via Kickstarter.com. They were shocked that in just a week’s time, their goal was reached.

“It was a complete surprise! Roberta and I are still amazed. We set the number of days to the maximum Kickstarter allows (60 days) because it was such a large amount. We had no idea we would reach our goal within a week! People just took it and ran with it. Roberta and I were just bowled over by all the concern and support and well wishes,” O’Connor said.

Those in the Barrington community were eager and willing to do whatever it took to help the 1920s Catlow stay in business.

“The entire community has been so supportive,” O’Connor said. “They've been stopping in and offering their support, checking the total, helping to spread the word for us - really becoming involved in the process and encouraging us along the way.”

Although the Catlow has surpassed its fundraising goal, the money isn’t in O’Connor’s hands just yet. The estimated date to receive the money is mid-October. Once the money comes through, electrical work and some booth construction will be done to accommodate the digital system.

“We're hoping to get it up and running before the holidays. We'll see how it goes. Kickstarter recommends that you don't make a move until your project ends and the money is in your account - which makes perfect sense,” O’Connor said.

More than $38,000 extra has been raised so far for the Catlow, with more money expected to come in before the fundraiser officially ends in September. The Catlow’s owners plan to use the extras to replace the heater, add some upgrades and freshen up the space.

“This is a golden opportunity for us to get her back in great condition so she can continue to serve future generations. Barrington and the surrounding communities have been very good to us, and we want them to get the best return for their investment in the Catlow. It's the answer to our prayers. We will be forever grateful!” O’Connor said.

To donate to the cause, head to Kickstarter.com. Donations will be accepted until Sept. 24.

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