MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (WCCO) — At seven people strong, the Wilson family wasn’t about to attempt shopping on Black Friday.

Instead, a $2 movie ticket and $3 popcorn at a theater in Maplewood seemed like a much better plan.

“Without a theater like this, we can’t afford to take our family out,” said father Trevor Wilson.

Plaza Maplewood Theater offers second-run movies. Everything is shown on two 35mm projectors, but by late next year, that will have to change.

“Either we convert and go digital, or we shut down because we’re not going to have any product to play,” said Plaza Maplewood’s general manager Brent Erwin.

Movie studios are going digital and new projectors can cost up to $75,000 a piece.

So, the Plaza Maplewood had a garage sale this month, and they also started a “Digital Projector Tip” jar.

“I was ashamed at first to do it, but one of my employees had the idea to put the cup there, and it’s gone nuts,” Erwin said.

So far, with some savings, they’re at $28,000 of the $150,000 they need. Customer Renee Miller hopes they can do it.

“This is such a great thing,” she said.

Erwin is anxious, but hopeful they’ll be able to raise the money because he knows how much people value a movie for seven at less than $20.


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