Our beloved Honoka‘a People’s Theatre is the heart of this town. They provide space for community classes, educational events and concerts and, yes, show movies, usually just a couple weeks later than the other theatres on the island. They stuck with Honoka‘a through the sugar plantation closures and maintained low prices, just like the old days when they first opened for the paniolos and plantation families. But today they’re in technical trouble because they still show 35mm film while the rest of the world has gone digital. And the industry will soon no longer make film available. Some companies have already stopped providing this option. So they have to go digital or close down.
It’s not that the owners aren’t investing in the property. Just recently they went completely solar. They opened a coffee, juice and breakfast café to bring in extra revenue that makes use of the movie snack bar all day long. They even sell local produce like papayas, lemons, whatever is in season. They use the best tomatoes for their sandwiches but can only use about half of the case so they sell the remainder. I stop there just to buy tomatoes; they’re from my favorite local tomato farm.
But none of this matters if they can’t go digital. So they did what many entrepreneurs are doing these days. They’ve started a campaign to raise the $60K they need through Kickstarter. It’s been a whirlwind of funding events around here. Kick-off parties, silent auctions and raffles (I donated five of my Manifesting Paradise books), and benefits. This Sunday, John Cruz is playing; I can’t wait.
One of the best features (literally) of this special time has been the weekly showing of Honoka‘a Boy, a Japanese film about a true story of a young man who left Japan, settled in Honoka‘a, and worked at the theatre as a projectionist. When I moved here I wondered why so many Japanese tourists took pictures of the theatre. Then I learned about the film. The theatre has only recently regained permission to show it without paying fees. I found it fascinating to see scenes of the town throughout the film, several only steps from our home.
But what’s really interesting about this whole fund-raising event is the connection to a visioning exercise I wrote out two years ago. You can find it as the last essay in my book. In this visioning technique I talked about my future life. Here’s the relevant passages:
I’ve also taken the opportunity to turn my good fortune into philanthropy by donating half of my book profits to worthy causes. I started locally, funding programs important to me: food aid, assistance for at-risk keiki and teens, . . . It’s a great feeling to leverage my dough into doing.
The movie (of my book) is scheduled to be in theaters in early 2018. We’re going to have the red-carpet preview right here in Honoka‘a at the People’s Theatre. I donated money to the (owners) to fully recondition the original seats for the big event.
When I wrote that in my book, I had no idea the theatre might be in trouble one day. I’d love to help with refurbishing their seats in the future, but the immediate focus is keeping the theatre open. So I followed my heart and wrote a healthy check. You could say that my action was premature because I’m still hoping my book earnings will outweigh my expenses this year. But I’d rather say that I’m using my favorite transformation tools: Acting As-If, Giving back, and Trusting that what I ask for will happen.
The whole town is using that last tool: Trusting (that we can raise the money), Asking (people to give), and Accepting (donations) with Gratitude. We’re more than half-way there, but we need the full $60K to keep the theatre going. And it HAS to continue because this is the People’s Theatre. We have until the end of September.
Postscript: See “Scheurell does the hula” to find out.
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Can you please post this wonderful essay on the TTT Facebook page?
Thanks (your biggest fan!)
P.S. I was lucky enough to win your book at the theatre fundraiser (and I paid twice what I bid!).
I don’t have posting rights on the TTT FB page anymore. Congrats on getting my book. I’ll put a longer message in it for you.
By the way, I’m going to see one of my favorite movies at the Honoka’a People’s Theatre tonight in honor of “Peace Week” and the suicide awareness walk this Saturday before the Parade, “Dead Poet’s Society” with Robin Williams. (I texted you this morning to see if you wanted to go.) It starts at 7:00 PM. Hope to meet you and all your readers there.
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