Once upon a time, the Northeastern Ontario town of Kirkland Lake had six theatres for movies and live shows. Today, only one remains: the LaSalle. Since 2013, SaveTheLaSalle, a nonprofit registered charity, has been working hard with handfuls of volunteers and $5-at-a-time fundraisers to rehabilitate and restore its 1939 Streamline Moderne Art Deco beauty. Our ultimate goal is to regularly show second-run and public domain films as well as support live productions by touring and local troupes. LaSalle Theatrical Productions, the regional theatre company we have created, is already filling a need for talented local youths, professionals, and retirees to express themselves creatively. Through our organization, amateur actors have also benefitted from mentorship opportunities with experienced industry professionals, provided by our charity free of charge.
But this journey is not easy, and fundraising to maintain and operate the building before its renovation depends on the efforts of volunteers. It is especially difficult now, while Covid-19 has us social-distancing and families of all sizes must conserve their finances until they can return to work full-time. All the work we have done to save and rejuvenate the last theatre in Kirkland Lake -- built entirely by local designers and contractors -- could very easily be lost to the pandemic.
Why does it matter? Culture, including art, is the fourth pillar of community sustainability. When the LaSalle is fully reopened to film screenings and live shows on the stage, it will not only create at least thirteen new jobs in Kirkland Lake, but help to bring in tourism and encourage spending at local hotels, restaurants, and other attractions. The LaSalle Theatre will invite other service organizations like the Kabaret Foundation to make use of the restored venue. The LaSalle Theatre will renew its status as a hub for creative expression, fun nights out with friends, and contribute to the preservation of the unique history and culture of this northern mining town.
Saving the LaSalle Theatre will enrich this community, but we need your help to sustain it now. Operational costs, with a staff of one, currently average $3,250 per month, money which is typically donated by individuals and corporations, or raised through special events like bake sales, yard sales, escape rooms, silent auctions, and in October, our annual Haunted House. When the LaSalle's rehabilitation is finished, the operational costs will be met by these efforts as well as film screenings and festivals.
Please help us keep the lights on during this state of emergency. Help us protect and rejuvenate one of the few remaining Art Deco theatres in North America, the last movie house and vaudeville stage in Kirkland Lake.