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Nicole Crutchfield, Published August 01 2010

Fargo has marvelous film venue

I often hear, “What do you mean the city of Fargo doesn’t own the Fargo Theatre?” or “Why doesn’t the Fargo Theatre have a special movie night, showing ‘Blazing Saddles’ (insert your favorite movie title here), wouldn’t that be fun?” I have these conversations with friends, family and colleagues.

The fact of the matter is the Fargo Theatre is a nonprofit organization, 501c3, run by a board of directors, with an executive director, whom you know as Margie Bailly.

Since moving to Fargo four summers ago, I admit it’s been a bit of a mystery to learn about the operations of the theater. However, I’ve learned that the theater functions because of many wonderful volunteers, community members who love the theater, and awesome (underpaid) staff. Over the past four years, I’ve been to award-winning movies that I wouldn’t see anywhere else and also to live events represented by a diverse group of people from our community. As an audience member, I’ve laughed, cried, debated and discussed as our community shared talents, beliefs, joy and creativity.

Lately, the Fargo Theatre has been receiving some extra attention from Hollywood studios chancing big,

first-run movies with big success. While this is a great opportunity to introduce a wider audience to the theater, it’s also important to remember our roots. This is a valuable community venue, and the infamous marquee is an icon in downtown.

Now more than ever, it’s important to raise awareness across the community that the first week of August marks one of the most fun-filled annual events at the theater with the Classic Film Series. The Classic Film Series also marks the Annual Membership Drive. Show your value of community events, like this one, and remind your friends and family that this gem in downtown is a nonprofit organization and relies on volunteers and their membership to keep their doors open for these types of community events.

Crutchfield is a Fargo Theatre board member.