Family of Michael B. King gifts $150,000 to Jaffrey theatre.
JAFFREY, New Hampshire (April 9, 2020) The Park Theatre announced today that Stephen and Ashley King have generously contributed to The Park Theatre to name the upper auditorium in honor of Steve’s loving father, Michael B. King. Mike, as he was known throughout the region, was a trustee of The Park Theatre for over 14 years and founding member of the TEAM Jaffrey Park Theatre Restoration Committee. His passion for movies was very personal. He had been a projectionist in his youth, an avid student of film, and had amassed a significant collection of classic films on 16mm. Mike curated and ran The Park Theatre’s free Summer Movie Nights and, in that capacity, gave tens of thousands of hours to the free film festivals and the Theatre’s young people’s Usher Club. For several years, Mike also presented films for the Dublin Lake Club.
In presenting the family’s contribution to the Theatre, his son, Stephen said,
Ashley and I couldn’t be happier to honor Dad in this way. To know that the King Auditorium will live on as a tribute to his name would give dad a wide shy smile. We just love the Monadnock area and look forward to spending more time here up at the house with our family. Giving to the wider community through The Park Theatre, especially during their $50,000 gift match, seemed a perfect way to contribute to an organization doing amazing things.
Mike King passed away in 2016 at the age of 82. Born in Binghamton, New York, he was raised in Marshfield Hills, Massachusetts. He was a resident of Dublin, a graduate of Dartmouth College and member of its Film Society; a Counselor at Camp Monadnock; Film Officer, Chair and Photographer, Art Department at Brooks School, North Andover, Massachusetts; Trustee, Sharon Arts Center, Traveling Artist-Lecturer for New Hampshire Humanities Council; and Film Curator at the Dublin Lake Club.
“Mike was one of those rare individuals whom, if we are lucky, we have the privilege of knowing, maybe once in our lives,” noted Caroline Hollister, President of the Board of Trustees of The Park Theatre. “And if he was a great friend to his peers, he was unsurpassed in his understanding and patience with the young people he met and the students he taught. We are all so proud to have worked with him for as long as we had the chance. This recognition is such a fitting honor for Mike. He would be thrilled,” added Hollister.
The Michael B. King Auditorium will have seating for up to 112 people in a variety of configurations, making it a versatile and attractive space that overlooks the Jaffrey Town Common. It is planned to be an additional space for films, live performances, speakers, lecturers, “open mic” nights, poetry & play readings, and debates. Other planned events in the auditorium include educational classrooms for students and workshops for adults. As well it will be available to the region for meetings and dining as well as private parties, wedding rehearsal dinners, and other events.
The Michael B. King Auditorium joins the already-named main auditorium, honoring William David Eppes through a significant gift made by The Eppes-Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Approximately 450 patrons can be accommodated in the seating provided by two auditoriums.