A lot of us here at Plex grew up on old-fashioned trips to our neighborhood theater. It was a place for firsts—first movies, first jobs, first dates. Let’s just say, with every ticket torn, a memory was made. While we’re glad there are so many ways now to enjoy the movies we love, the important role that local theaters play hasn’t changed. But sadly, their ability to survive has.
If You Rebuild It, They Will Come
Based on a recent U.S. survey by OnePoll on behalf of Plex, an overwhelming majority responded “yes” to having heart-warming and nostalgic memories of going to theaters as kids. Almost half the people surveyed had a first date at a movie theater, 43% have had a first kiss there, and 28% worked at a movie theater for their first job. Many (almost 52%) even intentionally look to select an independent theater when they go to the movies. Of the 2,000 Americans surveyed, two-thirds believe that the closure of independent movie theaters is a huge loss.
The story of a cinema hall is the story of the community around it. And now, as many of these local landmarks compete with the giants, we want to make sure their story has a happy ending. These beating hearts of our neighborhoods have been making dreams come true our whole lives. As a fellow independent, the time has come for us to return the favor.
Greenlighting the Grant
Helping One Theater Dream Again
The Plex Theater of Dreams Grant is a helping hand initiative that includes a $100,000 donation, on-the-ground volunteer support from Plexians, and assistance with grassroots marketing for one year. To award this grant, we’re searching for an independent theater that’s deeply entrenched in the community it serves. One which has been around for over a decade and has been the go-to place for the entire community.
Who Can Apply?
The grant is open to all independent theaters in the USA (no chains, sorry) that are currently registered nonprofit organizations under Section 501(c)(3). All applications will be considered by our review committee and evaluated based on application requirements.
Applications for the Theater of Dreams Grant are now closed.
We had an incredible response from some truly great theaters across the country, and we would like to thank all the applicants for taking the time to create such heartwarming submissions.
Due to the overwhelming number of entries, we’re extending the announcement of the final winner until December 2023, as we evaluate (and re-evaluate) every application. We appreciate your patience as the committee makes its decision.