The owner of Block’s Island most historic theater said he will have to close later this year unless he can raise $50,000 to buy a digital projector. An online fundraising drive has raised about $9,000 so far.
At issue is the Empire Theatre, a rustic structure that started life as a roller rink in 1882. It’s been showing films since the dawn of the movie industry. But after Labor Day, films for its 35 millimeter projector will no longer be available. The industry is converting to digital.