When the contest begins, a 1980s classic movie will start
running and continue looping until there is only one person left
Now Arlee management is setting up a match-making service to
connect participants and donors.
“We keep hearing of young people who want to participate in our
Sitathon but need to find donors to help with the $100
registration fee,” said John Maxson of the Arlee in Mason City.
“We also know of folks who would be happy to donate toward the
cause, and we want to help unite the two sides. If you wish to
participate in the Sitathon vicariously through the adventures
of another person, or if you want to see if you can be the last
person sitting, please contact the Arlee at 217-482-9999 or
217-691-7229 and we will help match you with someone.”
Proceeds of the event will help the one-screen Art Deco theater
restore its 78-year-old seats. The Sitathon begins at 7 p.m.
Oct. 10, and doors open at 6 p.m.. The winner will receive ten
percent of the sitathon donations, so the more who enter, the
bigger the purse. In addition, the person raising the most in
donations for the contest will receive a nontransferable
one-year pass to all Arlee movies and events.
Contestants will be allowed brief scheduled restroom breaks.
They may sleep or even pass time with hand-held devices, as long
as they are silenced and not used for videotaping. No outside
food will be allowed, but the Arlee will provide all the free
house popcorn and beverages that competitors wish to consume.
Other Arlee snacks will be for sale, and Arlee volunteers will
serve people where they sit.
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The Arlee specializes in affordable family entertainment and
is run entirely by volunteers. It is not a 501c3 but is
registered as a not-for-profit corporation owned by John and
Gaye Maxson, who reopened it ten years ago with the help of
family and friends.
They have been able to keep it open despite rising costs and
Hollywood’s switch to a pricey digital movie format. A year ago
Arlee friends helped raise $42,500 in ten months in order to
purchase a digital projector, replacing the functioning 35mm
that had become obsolete.
In the spirit of the dance and pole-sitting marathons of the
past, the Arlee is hosting this sitting contest over Columbus
Day Weekend when many students are off from school. Registration
costs $100 in seat sponsor donations.
Contestants may pay their own registration fee, although they
are encouraged to get sponsors. For a registration and rules
packet, visit the Arlee Theater at 139 S. Main St., Mason City
5:30 – 9 p.m. Friday through Monday or 12:30 – 4 p.m. Sunday, or
click on coming attractions and then Sitathon at
[Gaye Maxson, Arelee Theater, Mason