Sundance concessions raise funds for the arts
January 18, 2014
While the 2014 Sundance Film Festival is in town, buying popcorn and a drink before sitting down to watch a movie not only means creating the classic movie-going experience. Movie patrons will also be raising funds for art and film appreciation programs throughout the city.
Several theater venues, including the Jim Santy Auditorium, the MARC theater and The Egyptian Theatre, will use the proceeds from their concessions to fund subsidized tickets, children’s programs and free film screenings.
Throughout the year, the Park City Film Series raises funds by screening films at the Jim Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library. But during Sundance, it also does so by running concessions at the venue. Executive director Katharine Wang said all proceeds benefit the Park City Film Series and helps to bring in panel discussions, filmmakers and free programs for children.
"It’s a direct annual fundraising event that goes right into our program and back into the community in that sense," Wang said. "Not everything is covered by the funds raised, but the proceeds do go back into our programming."
One project Wang said they hope to expand upon is the Reel Community Series, which are free screenings offered to the community on the second Thursday of every month. The film series, in partnership with local nonprofit organizations, brings in a film that helps to express the organization’s mission through film.
For example, last year’s screening of "Ready to Fly," a documentary film that follows 2009 World Champion Lindsey Van and the rest of the U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping Team trying to reach their 2010 Winter Olympic Games goals, was screened in partnership with and raised funds for the U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping Team.
Recommended Stories For You
Wang said they have received a grant from the Park City Community Foundation to cover part of the costs, but funds raised from concessions will help pay a license fee for public screening of the films, cover staffing and all the work it takes from the film series to put on the screening.
Amber Hansen, director of operations at The Egyptian Theatre, said 100 percent of the proceeds from the concession stands at the venue go back toward the nonprofit theater. They are also the only concession stand during the festival with a liquor license.
"We’ll have a liquor permit for eight out of the 10 days and will be serving beer, wine and mixed drinks," she said.
The foods available for purchase are strictly movie snacks like popcorn and candy, so Hansen said people cannot expect to buy meals, such as sandwiches, at their concession stand. However, Hansen said she is confident they will make up for those sales with their liquor license.
The Eccles Center will share a percentage of their profits with Park City Coffee Roasters, who work with them year-round to provide concessions to attendees. They provide Eccles Center concessions during the festival as well, and the menu will be enhanced, according to executive director Teri Orr.
"There will be sandwiches and salads, the ever popular slice of pizza, cookies and lots of both hot and cold beverages," she said. "It’s different during Sundance, because people are needing to have a full meal as opposed to when they come to evening performances throughout the year and have dinner beforehand."
The proceeds from the concessions will help support theater tickets for the underserved in the community, Orr said. It will help to subsidize tickets for senior citizens, the Hispanic community, residents of the adult living center and military families.
Buying a snack, meal or beverage at the concession stands at The Egyptian Theatre, the Eccles Center or the Jim Santy Auditorium will mean continuing an appreciation of film and the arts once the festival leaves town.
"We want people to know that if they buy concessions at the library, they are raising funds for us and for independent film year-round in Park City," Wang said.
Concessions will also be sold at the Municipal and Athletic Recreation Center (MARC) Theater, The Yarrow Resort and Hotel Conference Center and Prospector Lodge. According to the MARC recreational supervisor Tate Shaw, Java Cow will be the concessionaire at the venue.