The Broadway Centre Cinemas has been open for more than 20 years — nearly 10 of them as Salt Lake City’s main art-house theater — and has put a lot of butts in the 1,600 seats of its six auditoriums.
Now, the Salt Lake Film Society, the nonprofit organization that runs the Broadway and the Tower, is trying to make those seats a nicer place to sit.
The film society’s Creature Comforts fundraising campaign is under way with a goal of raising $54,000 to replace all the seats in the Broadway, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Broadway’s landlord, said Tori Baker, the film society’s executive director.
There’s a catch: The theater needs the whole $54,000 by Friday, April 6, to take advantage of a deal from a developer to get refurbished “like new” theater seats for all six auditoriums at the Broadway, 111 E. 300 South in downtown Salt Lake City.
As of Wednesday, the drive has raised more than $22,000 — 42 percent of the goal, Baker said.
The old seats at the Broadway are in fairly good shape, Baker said, especially compared to the tiny seats in such venues as the Capitol Theatre or Kingsbury Hall. But “the expectation is very high for moviegoers,” she added, who are used to state-of-the-art seats in places like the Megaplex Theatres.
Baker said the new seats would be wider, staggered so moviegoers could see between the heads of those in front of them, and provide 48 inches of leg room — enough that patrons don’t have to stand up when someone tries to get past them.
Donors get rewards for giving. The top prize, for a $500 donation, is to have a new theater seat dedicated in the donor’s name —with a small plaque to immortalize the donor’s name, or the name of anyone the donor chooses to honor.
Other rewards for donations are:
For $10 • A commemorative “Creature Comforts” button.
For $50 • A button and a Salt Lake Film Society T-shirt.
For $100 • A button, a T-shirt and a “Super 8” membership to SLFS.
For $250 • A button, a T-shirt and a “Panaflex” membership.
For more information, or to donate via the Internet, go to www.saltlakefilmsociety.org.