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Palace Theater Launches Fundraiser

September 18, 2015, 9:29 AM HST
* Updated September 18, 12:15 PM
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A historic theater in downtown Hilo has started a fundraiser in hopes to one day provide air-conditioning to performers and guests.

The theater was one of the first in the area to ever have air-airconditioning but when the system died it has never been replaced. The heat of this past summer has sparked action to get the cooling system up and running, but not without a cost.

That’s why executives decided to start a Theater Comfort Campaign. So far campaign has raised $50,146 in donation money. In addition, they’ve raised $60,000 in pledges, one for $10,000 and two $25,000 pledges totaling for $50,000.

The theater hopes to go solar to help subsidize the cost of electricity. The solar cost estimate is $138,000. The air conditioning will cost another $120,000 to $130,000. Any money left over will stay within the Theater Comfort campaign for new seating in the future.

“Once we reach $138,000 in funds we will go forward with the photovoltaic installation and then continue fundraising until we can install the air conditioning,” said Palace Theater Executive Director Morgen Bahurinsky.

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“Our optimistic goals are early 2016 for the solar install and to have air conditioning by next summer,” she said.

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“We need the community behind to make this happen,” she added.

Donations can be made by cash, check or credit card.  Donors may call the theater’s office at 808-934-7010 weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to make credit card payments or come to the Box Office Window during those same hours to make a payment in person.

All checks should be made payable to Friends of the Palace Theater.  The mailing address is 38 Haili St., Hilo, HI. 96720.

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A similar community project put a new roof on the Palace in 2013.  That was over a $200,000 project.

“With their help again, we know we can air condition the theater,” she said.

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