Petersburg Pilot -


Northern Nights Theater reps request a spot on capital improvement list


As the Petersburg City Council opened the floor for public comment on the Capital Improvement Projects list Monday evening, a new request for funding was addressed.

Dave Berg Compass Theater board member, along with Sarah Tate, newly elected treasurer of the theater, addressed the council with the needs of digital upgrading.

“The theater is going to be forced to upgrade to a digital format to be able to continue showing movies in Petersburg,” Berg said. “This will happen by the end of next year.”

According to Berg, only high school students work in the theater.

“It is stated in our by-laws that we hire a manager and assistant manager and they supervise the operation,” Berg stated. “The students receive training in business organization, financing, ordering supplies and movie equipment, as well as, selling advertising space in the spots before the movie.”

Unless the equipment and upgrades for the theater are received the Northern Nights Theater will no longer be able to show the community first-run movies.

“If this happens,” Berg said. “We will be unable to train the young people of this town as we have successfully for the last 14 years.”

The Compass Theater began in 1997 and is a completely student-run organization. The Northern Nights Theater started as an educational program funded by a grant by the State of Alaska to provide an opportunity to develop ideals of business management, marketing, responsibility, resourcefulness and respect in the youth of the community.

The theater is a self-sustaining business that reinvests all proceeds to community-based youth programs.

Members of the organization, along with donations from the community and local businesses, have raised approximately $25,000, but this figure comes up short of the amount needed for the conversion.

“I have received several estimates from various suppliers,” Berg stated. “The total needed for the project is from $70,000 to $79,000.”

According to Berg, the organization is looking into different types of equipment and negotiating with different suppliers to get that needed equipment.

By the end of the council meeting, the council members voted unanimously to add the Northern Nights Theater upgrade to the CIP for 2014 in the 19th place on the list.


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