Ingersoll Auto of Danbury will launch its seventh year of free monthly movies with a free movie weekend featuring “The Grinch” (PG) starting Friday January 11 through Sunday January 13. It’s an ironic launch choice, given the business’ “ungrinchly” behavior during the six years that it has been sponsoring not only free monthly movies, but live events as well.
“Mr. Ingersoll has been a strong and steadfast supporter of Edmond Town Hall and I think I speak for the entire community when I express our gratitude for his generosity.” said Margot Hall, chairman of the Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers, responsible for the building’s oversight.
Ingersoll Auto’s support began shortly after the events of December 2012 when, unsolicited, Jen Gilbertie, community relations coordinator, contacted Edmond Town Hall and offered to do a free movie for the community.
“I remember getting that phone call and thinking what a positive way to bring the community together. I never dreamed they would still be doing this seven years later,” said Sheila Torres, Edmond Town Hall operations manager.
Edmond Town Hall Theater has been offering movies to the community since it opened in 1930. In recent years, new technology has led to changes in movie viewing habits and theaters are competing with alternative ways to watch movies. Ingersoll’s support of a free movie once a month has been instrumental in keeping audiences coming to the movies.
The Board of Managers plans to offer more live performances in the iconic proscenium theater with the goal of building new audiences and continuing to keep the building a vibrant multi-generational gathering space for the community through use of the theater, the gymnasium, the Alexandria Room banquet hall and other meeting rooms, which are rented for civic, celebratory and life milestone events.
Edmond Town Hall was one of seven gifts to Newtown from Mary Elizabeth Hawley who named the building after her great grandfather and patriot, Judge Wiliam Edmond. The building depends on ticket and rental revenue and a modest trust fund disbursement for much of its operating needs. While the town holds title to the property, a board of six publicly-elected volunteers oversee the building’s operations and staff. Funding is always a challenge for a building reaching its 90th year and support from sponsors like Ingersoll Auto of Danbury and individual contributors is much needed and appreciated.