Article by Chris Giesen
Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) is excited to announce its partnership with the Trust for a Better Harmony to make $30,000 available to the Harmony JEM Movie Theater digital projector fund. Acting as a third-party fiscal agent for the Trust, CEDA closed today on a $20,000 forgivable loan and $10,000 no-interest loan to the JEM Theater. Funding from the Trust was made possible through a generous gift from the estate of Ms. Gladys Evenrud of Harmony.
The JEM Theater is located in downtown Harmony, MN. It is a single-screen, family-run theater; one of only a handful in the country. Because Hollywood is switching from film movies to digital movies, all theaters must switch to the digital format in order to show new movies. The cost to convert is about $75,000; more than most small family-owned theaters can afford.
The JEM was able to locate very slightly used digital projection equipment from a larger theater in Iowa at a reduced cost of $55,000, plus some installation costs.
The $30,000 investment from the Trust for a Better Harmony, with the help of CEDA, was made with a challenge for the community: raise another $30,000. To date, the theater has been able to raise nearly $30,000 in additional funds from other community donations. All loan repayments from the JEM Theater to CEDA will be returned to the Trust for a Better Harmony for future community development projects. Donations can be directed to First Southeast Bank, Harmony, MN, 507-886-6922.