Stigler Bands Together To Save Small-Town Movie Theater
STIGLER, Oklahoma - The community of Stigler is coming together to preserve a piece of history.
For years, Time Theater has been showing movies in the small town.
Off Main Street in Stigler sits the last of a dying breed of single-screen theaters left in Oklahoma.
The theater has been entertaining folks for decades -- dating all the way back to World War II.
But, after 70 years of use, the clock is beginning to wind down on the Time.
"We are still using the same projector that was put in the theater in 1942," Theresa Martin said.
And with the push to go digital, owner Bill Cariker said the old 35-mm film is becoming extinct, making it near impossible to show movies.
"We usually don't get movies until they've been out 2 to 4 weeks," he said.
And with the closest theater more than 50 miles away, the community is coming together to do something about it.
They've started a Facebook page called "Save Our Theater," and they began collecting donations in December 2012.
"With the money that they've done without any grants, it's just been amazing to us," Cariker said.
Grant money for the theater is hard to come by because it's only a single-screen theater, so the owners are relying on donations from the community.
In the last two months, Stigler has raised $50,000, which is half way to their goal.
"We've gotten donations as far away as California and Florida," Martin said.
Those donations will help buy a new screen and sound system to go along with the new 3-D projector.
"From an economic development standpoint, people come to Stigler to come to the theater that wouldn't normally come to Stigler," James Martin said.
The main loss of a theater will be felt by the younger generation.
"[We're] keeping it open for the youth and our kids," Cariker said.
Stigler is hoping to pass along a piece of Oklahoma history, while winding back the clock on the Time.
"This may be the first step, but it's a step in the right direction," Theresa Martin said.