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The Park Theatre Receives Major Gift Second Auditorium Named for Mike King

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.

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Monadnock Tonight!

The Park Theatre To Produce Live-Streamed Information & Entertainment Programming For In-Home Watching

“Monadnock Tonight!” Premieres on March 24

JAFFREY, New Hampshire (March 19, 2020) The Coronavirus/COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s lives, even our bucolic Monadnock Region. Closures are appropriate for everyone’s health and well-being. Due to the federal and state recommendations of social distancing, The Park Theatre announced today that they would be producing a live TV program as well as a website dedicated to streamed movie recommendations to help people confined at home be entertained and informed.

Starting Tuesday, March 24th, Jaffrey’s Park Theatre will produce a twice-weekly television program entitled Monadnock Tonight!. The 30-minute program will feature important very local news for the communities of the Monadnock region, including interviews with health officials, state & local government representatives, as well as businesses & individuals affected by the limitations that are now a part of our daily life. The program will air Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm. The second half of each show will include a live performance by a regional musical group, comedian, or other entertainers. The program will be broadcast live simultaneously on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope, Twitter, and Vimeo. The shows will be archived so they can be seen on demand at any time after the initial broadcast.

Monadnock Tonight!’s first week’s guests include Jaffrey Town Manager, Jon Frederick, Grove Street Fiduciary CEO, Carl Johnson and classical guitarist Ted Mann. Schedule information will be available on The Park Theatre Facebook page and their website, theparktheatre.org.

Additionally, The Park Theatre is introducing ParkPixFlix. The Park Theatre will curate a website page on their main website that picks entertaining films of all genres that are available for free online. A new movie will be added every day. Films for children will also be featured. Background and link information for each film will be posted on the page. The Park Theatre choices will be innovative, surprising, and most definitely, always entertaining. The public will also be given a chance to recommend films (and TV series) that are available on any streaming platform.  Their recommendation and their photo will be included on the ParkPixFlix page. The Park Theatre’s Facebook page will also highlight and give links to all films as they are added to the list.

“There will be a great deal of time spent at home. We felt The Park Theatre could add something positive to the lives of our communities during this unsettling period. These programs will be produced by and produced for the Monadnock region. We can’t wait to unwrap the new Park Theatre to the public later this year. Until then, we are going to bring The Park Theatre to the people,” said Steve Jackson, CEO, Managing Director of The Park Theatre.

Questions about Monadnock Tonight!, including booking of guests and musical performers, can be addressed to the program’s producer, Kim Graham, at gomonadnock@gmail.com or by calling The Park Theatre office, (603) 532-9300.

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Park Theatre Awarded $50,000 Matching Gift Challenge

The Eppes-Jefferson Foundation, Inc. provides funding for program.

JAFFREY, New Hampshire (January 13, 2020) – The Park Theatre today announced the launch of its “2X the Happiness” matching gift challenge. Now through May 2nd, first-time donors to The Park Theatre have the opportunity to double their donations by participating in this special fundraising campaign.

The program has been made possible by a grant from The Eppes-Jefferson Foundation, Inc. The foundation will match any gift size from a new donor with a total matching cap of $50,000. New gifts can include regular donations, seat sponsorships, or any other monetary contribution to the theatre. However, to qualify to be matched, the donor must have never before made a gift to the theatre.

“We are so grateful to The Eppes-Jefferson Foundation, Inc. for its support of The Park Theatre. This new donor incentive fundraising program, gives the power of 2X to every gift. We are confident we will reach the combined goal of $100,000 very quickly,” said Nancy Belletete, Vice President of The Park Theatre Board of Trustees.

The Eppes-Jefferson Foundation, Inc.’s long-time support for the reopening of The Park Theatre was earlier recognized with the naming of the main auditorium of the new performing arts center. When The Park Theatre opens later this year, the William David Eppes Auditorium will be home to a wide variety of live entertainment from local and regional performers as well as nationalizing touring music and theatre groups. Recent Hollywood, independent, foreign, documentary and classic films will be shown there as well.

New donors can make a gift, payable to The Park Theatre at P.O. Box 278, Jaffrey, NH 03452. Gifts can also be made on The Park Theatre’s website (at this link) or by calling the executive office at (603) 532-9300. To qualify, all donations to the match must be received by May 2, 2020.

For 54 years, The Park Theatre was the center of community life in Jaffrey, presenting vaudeville and first-run movies. From 1922 until it closed, The Park Theatre was a major provider of entertainment for the Monadnock Region and north-central Massachusetts.

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Theatrical Seat Campaign

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

This month, The Park Theatre launches its Theatrical Seat Campaign to complete the acquisition of theatre seats for the historic William David Eppes Auditorium. The seating – upholstered and comfortable – is set up stadium-style so that every seat has a clear, unobstructed view to the stage and movie screen. The Seat Campaign gives the Theatre’s friends, supporters and all-around theater-lovers the opportunity to name one or more seats. Those names or messages will be engraved on plaques at each seat. One of the first seats selected was named by Jaffrey taxpayers – “Town of Jaffrey” – at the 2017 Town Meeting. About a dozen other seats have also been named leading up to the launch of the campaign.

For 54 years, The Park Theatre was the center of community life in Jaffrey, presenting vaudeville and first-run movies. From 1940 until it closed, The Park Theatre was one of a limited number of MGM film houses. Naming a seat in the new Park Theatre gives contributors the opportunity to take their places in the rich, living history of The Park Theatre and help the Theatre complete the acquisition of this innovative, telescopic seating.

A donation of $1,000 for each named seat, in a variety of payment options, assures that the Theatre remains a central part of our community and our region. “Named Seat” contributors also benefit from advance ticket sales, an exclusive annual Seat Party, and attendance to a special pre-opening reception and tour of the newly-completed Park Theatre. The number of seats being offered for naming is limited. To name your seat, receive a brochure about this offer or for more information, please contact Christine Witham at 603-562-6572 or download the PDF directly here. See our online order form here.

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Park Theatre reaches construction funding goal, no groundbreaking date set

By NICHOLAS HANDY
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, October 01, 2018
Original article: See Link

The Park Theatre has officially raised all money needed to begin construction on a state-of-the-art film and performance arts center in downtown Jaffrey.

While all $3.5 million needed for construction has been raised, CEO Steve Jackson said Thursday that a groundbreaking date cannot be set until the USDA’s Rural Development Office gives final approval on a $2 million low interest, long-term loan.

“We’ve had our champagne ready for a while now, but no one is popping the bottles until construction has started,” Jackson said.

Jackson would not speculate when construction would begin as he is unsure when the USDA will finalize their review. The Park Theatre has been pre-approved for the Community Facilities Program loan since 2013 but plans for the theater have undergone a number of tweaks and updates since that time, Jackson said.

“We’re right down to the wire, we are at the door, we are on the cusp,” Jackson said. “They have to do their due diligence. We supplied them everything they need.”

Jackson said construction is estimated to take about 12 months from shovels in the ground to furnishing and decorating.

Starting construction will help to kick off the second round of fundraising – securing funds for projectors, seating, lighting, office equipment, furniture, and other equipment and furniture for the interior of the building.

“We want to make sure it’s a fine-tuned machine,” Jackson said.

The theater has raised well over $6 million since 2005 – money that has covered not only construction costs, but also architectural plans, legal bills, buying the property where the theater will be located, engineering, operating costs, and more.

Last September, the Park Theatre set a construction date of Nov. 15, 2017 but a number of delays pushed construction back.

The first iteration of the Park Theatre opened in 1922. The theater served as a movie and vaudeville house until it closed in 1976. People have been working to open a new Park Theatre since 2005.

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.

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