BAR HARBOR — The 1932 Criterion Theatre has received grants to upgrade its facilities. One grant, totaling $80,000, comes from the TEW Foundation in Seattle, WA and is meant to begin upgrading its 1980’s-era sound system and to complete its HVAC overhaul.
In addition to this funding, the Juniper Foundation, also of Seattle, has pledged to match private donations up to $30,000 towards completing the sound system upgrade and updating the Criterion’s theatrical lighting system to modern high-efficiency LED/digital equipment.
A statement from the theater said that the Criterion has been relying on a rental company from 60 miles away to provide the necessary equipment for large shows, of which the theater hosts around 20 per year, at a cost of roughly $40,000.
Installing its own high-efficiency equipment will eliminate the rental expenses, allow local productions to use the same equipment as national acts and reduce its energy consumption.
“We’ll also be taking a bold step towards A Climate to Thrive’s goal to achieve MDI energy independence by 2030,” said Mark Tipton, the Criterion’s development director.
“Our hearing patrons will be able to benefit from better overall sound quality when attending films, live concerts, and special events at our theatre. Patrons with hearing challenges will benefit from our upcoming ADA-compliant headsets and select Sunday open caption screenings.”
The deadline for the $30,000 Matching Challenge is Dec. 31. More than $2,500 has already been raised.