The Harbor Theatre Digitial Conversion Prospectus
Click on the link above for a PFD. printable version of this document
The Boothbay Moving Picture Co., Inc.
dba The Harbor Theatre
185 Townsend Avenue
Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04538
The Harbor Theatre Prospectus
The Harbor Theatre, located at 185 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor, in “The Meadow Mall”, is a
184 seat, single screen Maine movie theatre. The theatre features a 26′ wide movie screen, twoprojector
35mm carbon-arc projection system and stereo-surround sound. The theatre’s lobby and foyer
are decorated with classic movie stills & posters, some signed by filmmakers who have appeared at the
theatre to introduce their films, and other film nostalgia from “the golden era”. In addition to 35mm,
the theatre runs digital pre-show screen messages (screen ads) and can run DVDs/Bluray discs (“ECinema”).
E-Cinema cannot be used to run current release films in digital format- “D-Cinema” is
required, as described below.
The Harbor Theatre opened on August 14th, 2002 as a year-round movie theatre. Prior to this, the
location was known as “Harbor Lights Cinema”, a summer-only business established in the mid
1970’s and run through the Summer of 2001.
The theatre has developed a loyal following, having hosted several “Meet the Filmmaker” and “mini
film festival” events, some also sponsored by “The Boothbay Region Film Society” (formally “Friends
of The Harbor Theatre”), a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization, which sponsored a high school filmmaking
competition, raised funds to install donated theatre seats, new movie-screen, and sound
processor. The group is currently in hiatus.
The Harbor Theatre, is owned by (William) Jason Sheckley, president of “The Boothbay Moving
Picture Company, Inc.”, the Maine “S” corporation established in August 2002 to operate the theatre.
Since opening, the theatre has operated on a break-even basis, attracting about 10,000 customers a year.
Mr. Sheckley brings forty years of film exhibition experience to The Harbor Theatre, which he runs as
a labor of love.
The theatre faces a huge challenge as the film era comes to an end: The Harbor Theatre must convert
to D-Cinema by the end of Summer 2012 or risk not being able to get movies in the 35mm film format
According to the media-tracking website Tekedia January 2012 will mark the crossover point when
digital technology overtakes 35mm. In the United States, there will be no more mainstream 35mm film
in use after the end of 2013. As demand for 35mm film declines, (50% of American movie screens
have already converted to digital, including 20 movie screens in Augusta and Cooks Corner, Maine),
movie theatres who have not converted to D-Cinema will have difficulty securing 35mm prints to play.
The cost to convert The Harbor Theatre to D-Cinema has recently been estimated to be $60,000.
without 3D. Although conversion allows a theatre to continue to do business, it does not appear to
increase business, so a D-Cinema lease or financing is not a feasible option.
To continue to operate after August 2012, The Harbor Theatre needs investors to finance the theatre’s
digital conversion. We are willing to consider partnerships, profit shares, selling the business or finding
another way forward which will allow the theatre to continue to operate as Boothbay’s family-friendly
movie theatre, with the required new hardware, under the guidance of Mr. Sheckley.
The theatre’s debt is currently under $7000. The theatre’s lease has been secured at a below-market
rate for the next five years.
Although theatre revenue has remained flat over several years, there is potential for growth:
• Additional sales of pre-show screen ads
• Increasing the number of weekly screenings
• Increased theatre rentals for parties & groups
• Additional sales of annual theatre memberships
• Offering Metropolitan Opera & other HD presentations
Another option would be to build a new free-standing theatre with three or four screens, and retail
space at a different location in Boothbay Harbor. The new theatre would stand out as a gem in the
midcoast region, and could attract additional business by sponsoring film festivals in and out of season.
To keep building costs down, the new theatre would consist of a metal building configured to fit one
large auditorium (approximately 225 seats) and two or three smaller screening rooms, with a common
concession/food area, and art-deco facade that would pay homage to E. M. Lowe’s Strand Movie
Theatre, a fixture in Boothbay Harbor (next to The Opera House) until it burned in the 1970s.
The new theatre also might be able to join forces with the local dinner-theatre in season and offer
live theater and dining options in one of the auditoriums.
As a world-class vacation destination the Boothbay region is a logical location for a world class
entertainment center. The Harbor Theatre is just one of many assets the area has to offer. People
looking to relocate often make decisions based on services available within a geographic area. The
Harbor Theatre, along with the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Land Trust, Opera House, YMCA,
and other local entities, make the Boothbay region a very attractive place to live and vacation. Film
festivals and “meet the filmmaker” events could provide even more incentive to visit the region and
draw new visitors to the area in early spring or late fall.
The theatre awaits additional resources to be able to grow in the 21th century.
For further information: