"Considering its age, its performance is incredible," said Arlee
owner John Maxson of the 35 mm projector.
But in order to move beyond the Arlee's 77th year of operating,
the old will have to be replaced with new digital projector
equipment, because the movie industry is swiftly moving toward all
digital movies, incompatible with the old projector.
"While we have tried to maintain the original Arlee experience
for our moviegoers, updated digital equipment has three advantages:
better sound, better image and the ability to bring good movies to
Mason City much sooner," Maxson said. "We are eager to give our
patrons an improved experience here, so we are excited about these
A new digital system can cost well over $40,000, so the Arlee is
launching its Beyond 77 Campaign. The first weekend of each month
will be set aside for special events such as Trivia Night, scheduled
for 7 p.m. on Sept. 7.
Trivia teams will be charged per person and can be composed of
six to 10 people. There will be cash prizes for the top three teams.
Those wishing to register a team for the first Trivia Night should
call John or Gaye Maxson at 217-482-3137, or email
[to top of second column]
The Arlee operates entirely on volunteer help on a break-even
budget in order to keep the historic theater open and provide
affordable family entertainment to the area. The entire Maxson
family has been brainstorming additional Beyond 77 Digital Campaign
events and welcomes ideas and suggestions.
"If fundraising goes well, we also hope to make improvements in
the seating," Maxson said.
[Text from file received from the