Community rallies around Fayetteville theater


The Cameo Theatre needs to buy new projectors, but the owners don't have the money. So, patrons have started a fundraising effort to save the Cameo.

"I think it's very important to the whole downtown experience," said Cameo patron Autumn Hall. "From an entertainment aspect, it's like a date night -- go have dinner then go to see a movie."

The Cameo Art House Theatre specializes in award winning art, foreign and independent films. Co-owner Chris Kuenzel considers the Cameo more a cultural rather than commercial success.

"We thought we could fill a niche and I think we have," said Kuenzel. "We have shown a lot of quality films over the last decade."

Movies are going digital next year, and 35 mm films are fast becoming obsolete.

The Cameo needs to two digital projectors, which cost $198,000. That's more than the owners can afford.

Meanwhile, downtown businesses and movie patron said they can't to let the Cameo go dark.

"Especially, on weekend nights, we get very busy especially after a movie let's out sometimes it gets slammed," said Chase Counts, of Rude Awakenings coffee shop.

"It's the only purveyor of cinematic art in Fayetteville," said Sara Vanderclute.

Vanderclute is part of a group raising money to help save the Cameo, and she said folks are stepping up to help.

"People have stepped up from businesses and arts community, to let us know they are on board," said Vanderclute. "People have written checks. People are making donations."

They hope to collect enough money by the end of the year to keep the Cameo's lights shining in downtown.

Donations for the Cameo can be sent to the following address: Cameo Art House Theatre, 345 Hay Street, Fayetteville NC 28301

If sufficient funds haven't been raised by Jan. 2013, all of the donations will be refunded.

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