Dear Members and Friends,
Just like you, we here at Old Greenbelt Theatre had big hopes for 2020. Since May 2015, OGT brought something new to the community every day. No holiday, snow day, or construction project kept us from providing our community with the space and time to gather together.
We started the year with a bang, concluding our massive capital campaign to expand our cinema by adding a Screening Room and Media Arts Literacy Lab. We were on the cusp of expanding our mission as a hub for film and film education in the DMV region. I am proud to say that construction for our Beyond the Screen Initiative begins later this month. Stay tuned for updates and photos tracking our progress!
Otherwise, it has been a very tough year for OGT. Being a shuttered business has dealt a serious blow to our finances. As you can imagine, our revenue is down dramatically. Before the shutdown, OGT’s monthly expenses averaged $30,000 per month. And while we have throttled our expenses as much as possible (by over 60%), our revenue has fallen by 95%, so we are facing a shortfall. We applied for, and received, Federal, State and local relief grants. But after eight months, those funds have nearly run out.
Traditionally at this time of year, we’d be looking forward to all the great films contending for the Oscars, the holiday series, the tree lighting, and more. We would be finding local experts to join us for post-film Q&As, connecting together as a community in our shared space. While we cannot safely do that now, we are eager to bring all of this back and more once it is safe to do so.
I’m asking you, our members and friends, for some help. Based on current revenue levels, our shortfall between now and the end of March (when we anticipate being able to resume some activities) will be $25,000. These funds will help us pay our staff, who are working limited hours to keep the nonprofit running, as well as help cover the cost of insurance, utilities and rent—the expenses we have no ability to defer. If everyone reading this message gives just $25, OGT can make it through this roughest stretch.
We’ve always said that our mission relies on our members. Nothing we’ve ever done would have been possible without you, and that’s never been truer. If you believe, as Roger Ebert did, that OGT is a sanctuary of our community’s dreams, will you make a gift of $25 right now to ensure our shared dreams imbued in our theatre have a future?
Thank you for sticking with us. Stay safe.
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