SCT receives new screen and projector system

Thomas La Foe stands next to Starkville Community Theatre's new screen that was purchased through a project grant from Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial. (Submitted photo)
Staff Writer

This week, Starkville Community Theatre received a new screen and projector to further enhance the theatre's options to show film and theatre in the community.

SCT Chief Administrative Officer Gabe Smith said SCT acquired the screen through a matching fund with Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial that began last summer.

Smith said during the matching fund project SCT worked with Modern Woodmen, and Modern Woodmen members had to be part of the project.

Modern Woodmen Financial Advisor Barbara Coats said for the matching fund project, Modern Woodmen members must be involved, the funds must go toward something that would benefit the community and it must benefit one specific project and not go into a general fund.

"They helped us sell subscriptions for season tickets," Smith said. "They had a table set up during our productions last year and were helping us sell subscriptions to a certain amount, and then they matched the amount, which was $5,000 last year."

Smith said the project grant had to go toward something that would be useful to the theatre but also enhance the community outside of the theatre, and the SCT board approved the purchase of the new screen.

"I believe so much in what Starkville Community Theatre does and how they're run financially that we used the entire $5,000 toward them," Coats said.

Smith said SCT was also able to purchase new chairs for the upstairs community room through the grant.

"Gabe and I started brainstorming and we came up with this idea that would not only enhance the theatre but also create a further community-oriented space downtown," Coats said.

Coats said she and Smith thought adding the new chairs would create a great meeting place downtown, which is needed in the community.

"I thought the screen would be a great way to get people in the theatre who may have never been before," he said. "We have a lot of great options for what we can do with it."

Smith said the screen can be used to project backgrounds and special effects during the theatre's productions, and he also plans to show children's and family movies, holiday movies and the original films to accompany the theatre's shows.

"Something that really appeals to me is showing something local," Smith said. "If we have local filmmakers who need a place to show their work throughout the year outside of the Magnolia Film Festival, that's an option as well."

Smith said he hopes to have the first event featuring the new screen and projector near the end of the summer.