The Roxy Theater is my favorite place in Missoula. When I first moved from New York to Montana, I was worried that it might not have as big of an arts scene as I was used to - and man, I was wrong about that. Living near The Roxy and often seeing multiple movies a week has exposed me to more cool stuff than I ever could have dreamed of. And when COVID hit and the theater had to shut down, I got worried.

Really, I'm worried about the future of theatrical exhibition in general - I'm hopeful that we can get back to normal soon-ish, but seeing unprecedented moves like Wonder Woman 1984 - a movie that probably should have easily grossed $1 billion at the box office - suddenly making its debut on a streaming service instead makes me wonder if theaters really are on their way out.

I hope that's not the case, because there's nothing like shutting out the world for two hours and experiencing an uninterrupted story with no distractions on the big screen. But if it is going to be survive, it's going to be because of places like The Roxy, independent theaters with strong ties to their community with a real passion for bringing movies to people.

Which is why it's so important to keep them going. The Roxy has been closed since March (my last movie there, two days before they closed, was Portrait of a Lady on Fire), and since then they've managed to keep things going with online film festivals, Centerfield Cinema at Ogren Park, the newly-formed Roxy Garden, and private movie rentals and video game parties. That all was a huge help, but especially now that it's too cold to do outdoor screenings, The Roxy needs your support.

A profile of the theater in The Missoulian mentions that The Roxy is set to launch a fundraising campaign on Black Friday, an attempt to raise $50,000 to keep their operations going through April. A quick look over at their Facebook page shows you don't even have to wait until Black Friday - the link is live and ready for you to donate right now!

So please consider donating to The Roxy Theater, and check out their website for updates and details on how to book a private rental. And I look forward to seeing everyone there when the theater does finally reopen, whenever that might be. Anyone got any good ideas for a re-opening movie screening? My vote goes to a movie about the power of movies - Cinema Paradiso. Or maybe Wayne's World, that'd be fun, too.

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