Joe Downtown: Group seeking public donations to keep Huntridge renovation plans alive
By Joe Schoenmann | Published by the LasVegasSun.com
June 5, 2013
The fate of the historic Huntridge Theater will become clear in just a few short weeks.
And depending on support from locals, the 69-year-old theater will either be on its way toward resurrection or the wrecking ball.
Starting Friday, investors Michael Cornthwaite, Rehan Choudry and Joey Vanas, partners in Huntridge Revival LLC, will launch a crowdfunding program to raise $150,000 — 1 percent of the estimated $15 million needed to buy and renovate the building — over a period of about 45 days. The hope is that thousands of people who love the theater and want to see it reborn will donate amounts ranging from as little as $5.
Funders will get something for their investment, though details of the Indiegogo.com campaign won’t be released until 9 a.m. Friday. A press release, however, said “supporters can look forward to incentives (ranging) from merchandise to private entrances and assigned parking.”
Cornthwaite said the level of residential support will tell the story. If thousands — he’s hoping at least 7,500 — donate, it will be easier for him to convince those with deeper pockets that investing bigger chunks of money in the theater makes sense. The cost to purchase the building is $4 million; another $11 million in estimated renovations would come later.
“This isn’t about Joey or Rehan or myself,” Cornthwaite said Tuesday. “It’s about whether or not the city wants to bring back an iconic theater, and we’ll know whether they do or they don’t in a matter of weeks. To us, that’s the most important thing to know right now. And we’ll know if people want to support this in a very short period of time. It’s really out of our hands.”