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November 6, 2012

Walton Theatre restoration group nears fundraising goal

By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star

---- — The future is coming into better focus at the Walton Theatre as a variety of fundraisers help the group near its goal.

The Walton Theatre Preservation Association was formed by the village in 1986 to help restore the theater to its former glory, according to its website. Starting last summer, the group had to raise $70,000 to purchase a digital projector needed to continue showing movies after Jan. 1.

A Halloween party and dance hosted Oct. 27 by the Walton Chamber of Commerce raised $10,000, bringing the total to about $65,000, two group members said Monday. Upcoming events could help surpass the goal, they said. Besides movies, the theater hosts stage productions by the Delaware River Stage Company and professional musicians through Music on the Delaware.

“To think that we will be able to come up with the $70,000 is absolutely incredible,” association Chairwoman Andrea Paternoster said, adding that if more is raised, it will be used for future projects.  “This time we’ll be ready to meet the demands. I’m pleased to think we will have a little bit of a surplus to meet future challenges.”

Achieving the goal with fundraisers, donations and no grants shows “people are dedicated to keeping this theater alive,” Paternoster said. She can not believe the number of people who have came forward to help provide a wide range of events.

“It seems monumental,” said association member Paula O’Brien. Especially in the current economic climate, “it’s incredible we raised this much without a grant,” she said.

It seems everybody has been involved. With two events coming up, it shouldn’t be long before that projector goal is reached.

The events are: Nov. 18 — Sock hop by Town Square Media and Northern Star Productions at the Grange Hall and Nov. 21 — Battle of the Bands at the theater.