Millie Hoekstra

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Movie Initiative to bring First-Run Movies back to Rangeley

Movies Are Magic! The RFA Movie Initiative

A Fundraising Initiative to upgrade our digital projection and sound equipment to allow First-Run movies to return to Rangeley.





After a hundred plus years, the movie-going experience is embedded in America’s DNA. Movies offer the simple joy of expectantly settling into your theater seat and watching the screen come alive. They bring the sweet intimacy of sharing a show with your date, your friends or your children in the air-conditioned darkness on a hot summer day. They wrap us in warmth following dinner and a stroll through snow covered streets. Movies offer the perfect hangout for teenagers and the affordable opportunity for senior citizens to see a matinee. They light up the dark night and bring us together on a rainy day. The RFA Lakeside Theater, in the heart of downtown, is Rangeley’s movie house and center for entertainment, student programs and social activity.

Rangeley is home to generations of local families, relocated citizens, snowbirds, snow bunnies, retirees and seasonal families spending the entire summer. Rangeley is also a favorite with tourists, snowmobilers, outdoor enthusiasts, AT hikers, boaters, and day trippers. The region has a rich history of outdoor sporting. Our quaint downtown, with its friendly shops, restaurants, and local services is a destination for culture and commerce. Rangeley’s summer population grows nearly ten-fold and most visit downtown during their vacation. The Lakeside Theater stands in the center of it all offering a homey gathering place, where people of can connect and mingle on Main Street, appreciating the amazing vistas and fresh mountain air, taking in an art show, a performance or a movie, or stopping by a favorite place to share a café mocha, a pizza or a gourmet meal. It is all within walking distance.

Rangeley is loved by all of us. We are proud of our town and committed to making it the best it can be. That is why The RFA Lakeside Theater is responding to the community’s call to bring back first-run movies and why the Rangeley Friends of the Arts is behind this initiative to revitalize our downtown business district. In the past year, a focus group and multiple business owners suggested we help bring back first-run movies. Currently, to see a first-run show, community members have to drive an hour out of town and when they go, they take their spending power with them. Local merchants and service persons are suffering for the lost revenue. In the spirit of being good neighbors, serving our town and supporting the Arts, the RFA has pledged its efforts to promote becoming a first-run movie house. We plan to keep it local and make it great again!

In 2015 movie formatting changed dramatically. That’s when the industry adopted a digital format which requires that movies be shipped on a hard drive that is secured and accessed only by a specific type of connector. To show first-run movies, the Theater needs an expensive digital projector and needs to make upgrades to its existing sound system. Estimated costs are $50,000-$80,000 due to fluctuations in pricing for after-market equipment. Once the Theater has the equipment it still has to pay Licensing Fees, which range from $250 to $1000 per movie. Currently the RFA has the equipment to show movies on DVD/BLU RAY. That’s how the Theater has been keeping the big screen lit-up with classic favorites, special features and recent releases.

We are in a rapidly evolving film industry. Based on historical attendance data, admissions alone at $5 pp have not been able to sustain the costs of running a dedicated movie theater. Community theaters across the country have been diversifying in order to continue to succeed. Your financial commitment toward the purchase of new equipment is a good investment in the community’s social and economic health. It will provide necessary equipment the theater needs to become a full service, first-run movie house. It will enhance opportunities for Rangeley’s sustainability efforts.

A first-run movie theater:

• Brings teenagers into town and offers them an uplifting social experience
• Lights up Main Street and revitalizes our downtown business district
• Gives seniors and families accessible low-cost entertainment
• Broadens the Lakeside Theater’s repertoire. By becoming an arts center that also offers first run movies, it becomes a year-round destination that energizes downtown business activity.

The RFA has 50 years of organizational experience and fiscal management as well a dedicated board, staff and volunteers who want to meet the needs of the community. Since the RFA took ownership of the movie theater in 2013, the non-profit has expanded its programming and social services. The RFA is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to our community and our business district.

Community volunteers, donors and local business owners are committed to providing their financial support to help purchase the new equipment needed for first-run movies, however, this is a tall order for a small town in rural Maine. We need your support. Your gift will turn this vision into reality. You will touch all of the lives that have made Rangeley such a special place for us to live, to work, to play and to treasure for the generations to come.

Click HERE to review preliminary estimates of the start-up costs and contract fees for the first year.

Once we reach the initial $80,000 goal, we will purchase the best products at the best prices at that time. All donations toward the new equipment are placed in a restricted account at Franklin Savings Bank in Rangeley. We hope you will join our community leaders in creating movie magic for our town. Thank you. The volunteers at the RFA appreciate your support. To Donate to this initiative, click Below.




2014 Walk to Bethlehem

WTB 2013

 For 37 years, the Rangeley Friends of the Arts have been   sponsoring the annual “Walk to Bethlehem” celebration to be held on Sunday, December 7th.  This festivity which recreates Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem will begin at the Rangeley Inn at 5:30 p.m. with the reading of Caesar Augustus’ decree that all people must return to the city of their birth.  The Walk through the town of Rangeley will be led by Mary and Joseph followed by many carolers.

 “The Walk” combines some of the religious aspects of Christmas with a traditional family oriented Christmas program of carols, classical pieces and drama.  The program to be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Main Street begins at 6 p.m., will likely instill feelings of peace, hope and love in all who attend.

Some of the participants will include the Rangeley Ringers, Lakeside Dance students, RLRS Chorus, the Rangeley Community Chorus and a few solo numbers.  The Pageant features many young people and residents in full costumes.  Refreshments will be enjoyed by all in the church undercroft after the program.

“Walk to Bethlehem” annual pageant to be held in Rangeley

2013 WTB 5Walk to Bethlehem Annual Pageant December 7th

For 37 years, the Rangeley Friends of the Arts have been sponsoring the annual “Walk to Bethlehem” celebration to be held on Sunday, December 7th.  This festivity which recreates Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem will begin at the Rangeley Inn at 5:30 p.m. with the reading of Caesar Augustus’ decree that all people must return to the city of their birth.  The Walk through the town of Rangeley will be led by Mary and Joseph followed by many carolers.

The Walk combines some of the religious aspects of Christmas with a traditional family oriented Christmas program of carols, classical pieces and drama.  The program to be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Main Street begins at 6 p.m., will likely instill feelings of peace, hope and love in all who attend.

Some of the participants will include the Rangeley Ringers, Lakeside Dance students, RLRS Chorus, the Rangeley Community Chorus and a few solo numbers.  The Pageant features many young people and residents in full costumes.  Refreshments will be enjoyed by all in the church undercroft after the program.

Rangeley Community Chorus Concert on December 3rd at Church of the Good Shepherd

kitty-christmas-stars-shine

 

 

To get yourself into the spirit of the season, come on over to hear the Rangeley Community Chorus as they present their holiday concert, FOLLOW THAT STAR.  The concert takes place Wednesday, December 3 at 7 pm at Church of the Good Shepherd and tickets may be purchased at the door for $12.

Included in the program will be a wide range of Christmas and holiday music including both favorites and originals.  From the gospel-inspired Follow That Star and the jazzy arrangement of O Come, O Come Emmanuel, to a peaceful original titled The Winter’s Night and the very tongue-in-cheek version of The Twelve Days AFTER Christmas, the spirit of Christmas and Wintertime will be very present.

Aficionados of Handel’s Messiah will be pleased to know the 20-member chorus will be singing both And the Glory of the Lord and the Hallelujah Chorus.  Any audience members wishing to sing the Hallelujah Chorus with the group are welcome to join in the fun.

In addition, there will be a few surprises in the way of solos and small group numbers, and a few bad jokes may jump out between songs.

Please join us for a wonderful evening of holiday cheer and great music!

Part-time office administrator position

The Rangeley Friends of the Arts, a growing nonprofit that “Brings  the Arts to Life”  is accepting resumes for a newly created part-time office administrator position.   This position, located in downtown Rangeley, will require approximately 20 hours per week and will report to the  Board President.

The Ideal Candidate will

Have accounting and Quick-books experience

Have marketing experience

Be detail oriented

Be self motivated

Have strong written and verbal communications skills

Bachelor’s Degree is a plus.

Send resume to:

RFA Committee

PO Box 961

Rangeley, Maine, 04970

Rangeley Friends of the Arts is proud to announce a special $2,500 donation by Skowhegan Savings Bank

 

Skowhegan Savings Bank photo

 

 

Photo: back L to R.  Dawn Field, Rangeley Branch Manager of Skowhegan Savings Bank, Paul Ellis, Treasurer of the RFA, (front) and a typical arts class, one of many that are supported through the student lessons program.

 

 

Rangeley Friends of the Arts is proud to announce a special $2,500 donation by Skowhegan Savings Bank to help support our student lessons program.  RFA helps underwrite the cost of private lessons in music (voice and instrumental) and dance for children of the Rangeley region. The RFA believes in children as the future artists and arts appreciators of the world.  The consistent involvement in the arts by students is directly linked to higher academic scores, improved social maturity, and improved problem solving skills – skills critical to independent living as young adults and beyond.  “Thank you” to Skowhegan Savings Bank for partnering with us in this important endeavor in Rangeley.

 

The Don Roy Band to perform at RFA Lakeside Theater on September 13th

Don-Roy-Ensamble-300x225The Don Roy Band will be performing at the RFA Lakeside Theater on September 13th as part of the “Western Maine Music Week”.

Western Maine Music Week announced for September 10 through 17

Skye Theatre director Phill McIntyre has unveiled plans for a self-supporting music week to fill the void of Crossroads Celtic Festival. Ten concerts are scheduled to take place in Oxford and Franklin Counties in Western Maine starting on Wednesday September 10 at Skye Theatre and ending on Wednesday September 17 for the closing and final event at Skye after a ten year run as Maine premier Celtic music venue.

“Artists are coming from far and near, we have had a great amount of interest from venues; artists; and fans after the announcement of the cancellation of Crossroads a few months ago. We were not able to continue with Crossroads at this time but everyone still wants the music and an event to fill the gap. A self-supporting event will take its place with artists from Maine; New England; and Canada”, said McIntyre. “It will be funded 100% from ticket sales and attendance is crucial to its success.”

Shows will take place in Farmington, Rangeley; Phillips; Stratton; Harrison; and Carthage. Artists will include; Coig from Cape Breton; Denny Breau; The Don Roy Band; The Gawler Family; Perpetual e-Motion; Erica Brown & the Bluegrass Connection; and Eric W Johnson from Maine; Nikki Engstrom (Stanley & Grimm) from Cape Cod; and Cassie & Maggie MacDonald from Nova Scotia. Other volunteer artists will perform during the last two shows at Skye Theatre on September 16 and 17.

Over the past ten years McIntyre has worked to bring Celtic music to Maine and NH by presenting concerts in many venues and with non-profit organizations in the region. A fan base has been developed and provides opportunities for local artists and youth to perform with International touring artists. “It has been a great ten years at Skye and I feel it is a fitting end to go out with a bang,” said McIntyre.

Skye Theatre has been sold and plans are moving forward to continue programing in the Farmington and Rumford area. The Fall music week is McIntyre’s way of saying good bye to Skye and opening the next chapter.

 Don Roy is the quintessential Downeast fiddler.  His music is the aural signature of the Pine Tree State:  crisp, straightforward fiddling that manages to synthesize the dynamism of Quèbècois, Acadian, and Cape Breton traditions from Canada with the grit of old-timey Appalachian, bluegrass, western swing and contest filling to the south and the lilt of international Irish music.  Don’s musical appetite absorbs it all and filters it through a sensibility that is born and bred in Maine’s French Canadian mill towns.  The result is a bold statement of the vitality of the tradition that nurtured Don, and for which he has become the leading 21st century champion.

Tickets ($15) are available at the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce, 6 Park Road in Rangeley.  The 7 PM show will be held at the RFA Lakeside Theater in downtown Rangeley.

“Goosebumps” concert by Rangeley Community Chorus to be held August 27th

Goosebumps!

August 27th at 7 PM

Church of the Good Shepherd

Have you had that experience when a song just thrills you so much you get goosebumps?  This concert will be filled with that kind of song.

Circle of Life from Disney’s The Lion King, Come in From the Firefly Darkness by Amy Feldman Bernon,-Seasons of Love from the musical Rent,  It Takes a Village by Joan Szymko, Prayer of the Children Words, and Praise His Holy Name are a few of the numbers that will thrill the audience in the Church of the Good Shepherd on Wednesday evening.

This will be the second of two summer concerts by the twenty-five plus member chorus which includes both year round and seasonal residents of the Rangeley area plus members from Carrabassett Valley and Eustis.

RAGTIME CONCERT, FIRST OF THE RFA’s SUMMER CONCERT SERIES, SCORES BIG

sean flemingThose of us who were fortunate enough to attend the Rangeley Friends of the Arts sponsored July 18th concert by Sean Fleming and his Damariscotta-based “Dam Rag Scotta Orchestra” left the RFA Lakeside Theater with, at the very least, a new appreciation for all of the many melodic intricacies and rhythmic varieties of the music genre commonly referred to by the generic term “ragtime.”

Lead by the virtuoso pianist and conductor Fleming, whose keyboard pyrotechnics were nothing short of miraculous, the other nine members of the ensemble also displayed a consistently high level of skill.  Their ability to follow Fleming’s lead as he conjured up the range of nuanced approaches needed to evoke the particular feel and flavor of the program’s varied selections was indeed impressive.

From the more familiar and expected selections by Scott Joplin (e.g. “Easy Winners,” “Maple Leaf Rag,” and “The Entertainer” made popular in the movie score for “The Sting”) to Ferdinand Morton’s “Jelly Roll Blues,” to an intriguing and unexpected encore by contemporary Maine composer/arranger/musical-director Aaron Robinson, the concert never disappointed but instead delighted us lucky members of the nearly sold out house.

The variety of rhythmic styles and tempi among the selections held our interest throughout the evening.  From the breakneck “Dizzy Fingers” by “Zez”Confrey (a piano tour de force accompanied only by the excellent string bass playing of Chuck McGregor and the flying sticks of drummer Allen Millett)  to the slower more lyrical “Sunflower Slow Drag by Joplin and Hayden,  Joseph Lamb’s “Sensation” by the whole orchestra, and “Ragtime Nightingale” with Mr. Fleming soloing on the piano, there was never a dull moment.

Sean Fleming’s warmth, charm and wit were in full force as he provided colorful commentary giving background on the composers and their works.   His strategically chosen players for this concert were:  Michael Albert, who played the first violin melodies with élan; Carolyn McDonald, whose 2nd violin provided the necessary string harmonies with poise; the ever reliable Richard Francis, whose cello added sonorous body to the string section; nimble-fingered Mitch Kihn on clarinet,  Linda Brunner on flute and David DeBolt on bassoon whose expert  wind playing provided texture and color to the sound; Peter Stuart, whose artful trumpeting added just the right amounts of brightness and bluesy jazziness;  the ever-steady and rhythmical Allen Millett, whose drumming was not showy or flashy but kept pace with Mr. Fleming’s conducting with a forceful beat; and, finally, string bass player Chuck McGregor, whose tireless and on pitch plucking was required for every selection on the program.

The buzz in the lobby during intermission and all around town for days following this concert attested to the excellence of this first of the concerts planned by the RFA’s Summer Concert Series Committee. Next up will be “Music from the Lake, Mooselook” at Bald Mountain Camps on July 23rd at 7:45 featuring the Stratton Steel Band. The hugely popular annual classical concert by faculty members of New Jersey’s Westerhoff School of Music will take place at the Church of the Good Shepherd the evening of August 7th.  Then on August 21st “Music from the Lake, Rangeley” will feature Down East Brass playing on board Kevin Sinnett’s Oquossoc Lady for  private RFA fund-raising parties along the shoreline followed by a concert at Loon Lodge that evening. Finally, another exciting first for our summer concert series will be a concert by 35 members of the Boston Saengerfest Men’s Chorus for two performances at the Church of the Good Shepherd the evening of August 23rd and afternoon of August 24th.

As always, proceeds from the RFA’s summer concerts and other events will be used to support arts programming for the children, youth and adults of our region and the continued development of the RFA’s downtown arts center now housed on Maine Street at the RFA Lakeside Theater.  For more information on this series and the many other RFA-sponsored events coming your way this summer, please contact the Rangeley Chamber of Commerce and go to the RFA’s web site: rangeleyarts.org.

(by Dallas Plantation resident, Don Schuman)

 

 

 

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