The Rialto Theater celebrates successful crowdfunding campaign and 100th anniversary

May 20, 2015

The Rialto Theater in Grayling is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
Credit Jordan Stancil

Small-town movie theaters are in a fight for their lives.

Hollywood studios are phasing out 35-millimeter film in favor of going digital. This means theaters are feeling the pressure to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade their facilities, or be forced to close their doors.

One such theater is The Rialto, about to mark its 100th anniversary in Grayling. 

Jordan Stancil's great-grandfather founded the Rialto Theater in 1915.

The Rialto ran a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise money to upgrade its systems, and Stancil tells us they raised over $100,000 with the support of current and former residents of Grayling.

“The theater basically attracts all members of the community, so it’s a shared experience,” Stancil says of the support. “They were really willing to help, and it was a pretty inspiring thing to be a part of.”

Listen to Jordan Stancil talk more about small-town cinema in the modern era in our conversation above.