Varsity Center in Carbondale raising money to bring back movies

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The Varsity Center in downtown Carbondale has been around since the '40s and has been the host to a number of different cultural art events and exhibits.

According to board member Nathan Colombo, the last time they played movies regularly, however, was in 2003.

Now they are trying to bring the movies back to the theater and bring people to downtown Carbondale.

Executive Director for Carbondale Main Street, Meghan Cole, said downtown commerce in the city is on an upswing and movies at the Varsity will help keep it going.

"We always want more density in our downtown. We always want more things to do. I think it helps their neighbors tremendously - the restaurants, things like that," she said.

In order to accomplish this goal, Colombo said the non-profit board has been accepting donations. He said the goal is $5,000, which they've already collected $3,000 of.

Progress has already been made according to Colombo.

"We've already got sound in some of our rooms as well as screens that we've purchased prior to initiating this fundraiser."

Colombo said the theater will still be the host of cultural events like stage performances and art exhibits. The hope is that by buying the equipment necessary to screen movies, the theater will play classics and independent movies made by local filmmakers.

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