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United Palace Kicks Off Campaign to Return Film to Washington Heights

By Nigel Chiwaya | May 31, 2013 8:51am
Return Film to the United Palace
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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The United Palace of Cultural Arts officially kicked off its campaign to bring film back to Washington Heights Friday morning.

The UPCA's indieGoGo campaign, which seeks to raise $40,000 over 40 days, went live along with a promotional video that featured guest appearances by several uptown artists.

DNAinfo New York reported two weeks ago that the UPCA is looking to raise funds to return film to the United Palace after a 40 year absence. The United Palace, which opened as a Loew's Wonder Theater in 1930, last showed films in 1969.

The $40,000 would pay for a new projection system and MacBook computer, the cleaning of the palace's silver screen and would help lock in programming for six months.

To spur donations, the UPCA is offering perks on the IndieGoGo campaign. Donors who give $25 will be recognized in the opening-night program; $50 gets them a limited edition lobby card designed by comic artist Sandy Jimenez; and $100 donations will earn them a free movie pass for a year.

Mike Fitelson, the UPCA's programming director, said the palace has managed to raise more than $3,500 in the days before the campaign began.

"The community has been very supportive of the efforts to return film to the palace," Fitelson said via email. "They understand how special this will be to not only have access to movies again, but to have them in such a spectacular setting as well."

The UPCA will hold three film events in the building during the campaign, starting with the June 6 screening of “Sosúa: Make a Better World,” a documentary about Washington Heights teenagers who wrote a musical about the Dominican Republic town that accepted hundreds of Jews fleeing the Nazis in 1938.