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John Machacek, Fargo, Published October 02 2013

Letter: Clarification of theater finances

On behalf of the Fargo Theatre, I would like to thank The Forum for its front-page story “More Than Just A Marquee.” We LOVE that our theater is considered the premier landmark of our community. It is very cool to have ESPN perched outside, utilizing your business as the backdrop for their nationally televised show. While being known for our big, beautiful sign is nice, the historic Fargo Theatre is a nonprofit community enterprise with a lot going on inside.

The Fargo Theatre’s revenue comes from ticket sales, rentals, donations, sponsorships and grants. We have room to grow, but we have a sustainable budget plan. Emily Beck and her staff, as well as a dedicated and involved board, have worked very hard to ensure that the theater operates as efficiently as we can, maintaining both operations and its mission. The Forum reported that our 2009-12 tax returns showed deficits ranging from $83,000-$148,000. We are concerned that the numbers might be misconstrued. The tax-reported deficits include significant building depreciation, which is a non-cash expense. Our annual operating expenses are in line with projected and actual revenues and our operating budget is and has been in the black.

Thanks again for going behind the scenes of the Fargo Theatre. To those who buy tickets and contribute to the theatre, we deeply appreciate the patronage and support of Fargo’s emblematic marquee and what happens within.

Machacek is president, Fargo Theatre Board.