By Bahar Thompson & Laurie Christiansen, SCORE NE Massachusetts

Crowd funding is an innovative mechanism to finance your new business or grow your existing one.  SCORE counselors Laurie Christiansen from the Haverhill SCORE branch and Bahar Thompson from the Newburyport SCORE branch are working with Andrew Mungo and Nancy Langsam, owners of The Screening Room, a small local arts theater in the historic downtown area of Newburyport, to pursue this new option.

The Screening Room has been in business since 1982 in Newburyport. But Andrew and Nancy are at a crossroads due to the modernization of movie technology and the need to update their projection equipment to the new digital format since new film releases will no longer be produced on 35 MM film by the end of this year.  Although this creates a challenge to smaller theaters, the change is a very positive one.  Digital technology makes all movie theaters greener - much greener – with no more 35 mm film and reels filling up landfills.  And while the equipment may be nostalgic, it is not maintainable.  The owners have determined the best way to raise funds for this costly investment in their business’s future is to use crowd funding, specifically the new internet fundraising platform called Kickstarter.  Their goal is to raise $60,000 between September 6th and October 6th (the duration of their crowd funding project) which will cover the cost and installation of the new equipment.  Once the conversion is completed, the new equipment will provide their customers museum quality projection of films with a cleaner and crisper sound system.  The Screening Room is a beloved icon in Newburyport with loyal and dedicated moviegoers.  This situation fits perfectly into the crowd funding model which suggests the highest level of success when a business has a passionate, dedicated and longtime customer base. 

If you would like to donate to this worthy cause or find out more about their crowd funding project simply log onto the Screening Room’s website - www.newburyportmovies.com – and click on the Kickstarter link to make a donation.  The link will be available only from September 6th – October 6th, the length of the fundraising project.

Andrew and Nancy are very excited about the project and SCORE’s help and contribution:  “Our experience with SCORE was invaluable. SCORE provides a depth of experience not easily available to a small business. Their expertise was offered generously and without charge. We deeply appreciate SCORE’s mentorship.”

We look forward to Andrew and Nancy achieving their goal in this project and are here to lend support and help along the way.  Other local businesses have found success using this new and innovative process and SCORE is gearing up to help clients for whom this as an alternative to traditional bank funding.