By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
A Christmas celebration gift and craft show Nov. 16 at the Riverside Plaza will raise money for the Parkhill Cinema to upgrade to digital equipment. The all-day show will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.
“It’ll be a family-oriented type atmosphere where people can come out and shop and think about Christmas, think about the spirit of giving,” show coordinator Aimee Clark said. Clark’s husband, Jason, is the owner/ operator of the theatre.
In that spirit of helping others, Clark asks craft show attendees to bring three non-perishable food items to donate to the Tarboro Community Outreach, a local food pantry/ homeless shelter. Those who donate will have a chance to win a free movie and snack deal at the cinema.
The show will offer a variety of Christmas gifts and crafts, including handmade scarves, birdhouses, wreaths and bows, snow globes, Mary Kay products, Tupperware, and handcrafted jewelry with proceeds going to Relay for Life. The Pilot Club will sell memorial lights to hang on the Memorial Tree on the Town Common, as well.
“We’ll have crafts that could be presents, crafts that you might use to decorate your house with,” Clark said. Last year, Santa Claus added to the festivities at the show. This year, Clark said Mrs. Claus might make an appearance instead.
Clark is making Parkhill Cinema commemorative ornaments for the show, so she can remember the event that helped the three-screen movie theater go digital. She estimated the upgrade to digital equipment – new projector, lens, screen and sound system – would cost $100,000, and said the upgrade is needed for many reasons.
“We’re basically going from a VHS tape to a BluRay,” Clark said. “It’ll be a clearer image on the screen, the sound will be better.”
Most importantly, Clark said, the upgrade will allow the theater to offer more types of shows to the community.
“We’re having a hard time getting stuff right now, because most stuff is digital,” Clark said. “It (digital) would open up more venues for us. We can do more Christian-type shows like the ‘Passion of the Christ’ for churches. We can do shows like ‘Snoopy, Come Home’ for kids to see…We could do shows like ‘Gone With the Wind.’ We’ve got a lot more senior citizens that would probably enjoy going back and seeing things like that that they saw years ago in the theater.”
The Parkhill Cinema has struggled in recent years to keep its doors open, in a nearly vacant venue – Riverside Plaza, but Clark said she has been encouraged by the community’s support.
“I hear a lot of positive (about the theater staying open),” Clark said. “I hope that people will start looking at the mall differently. I’d love to see something like a department store … anything that would attract attention, that would bring a family-oriented atmosphere. We just really want to see the community grow, with more businesses.”
The Parkhill Cinema is Tarboro’s only remaining active movie theater. Clark said her husband, Jason, has worked at the theater since he was 16. The theater closed in 1991, and Jason and his father Alton partnered to reopen it. The theater has remained in operation ever since.
Vendors and crafters interested in participating in the show should contact Clark at HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org. Clark is also selling $5 “go digital” raffle tickets, with a grand prize of $500.