The Friends of the Paradise Theatre’s (FOPT’s) business model incorporates a baseline of revenue generating house events including movies and live entertainment, venue rentals and strong concessions.
Unlike many nonprofits, this model provides a revenue stream that can support basic operations. Once the funds that have been loaned to FOPT by local investors have been paid back ($153,000), FOPT will be debt-free. In our strategic plan, we have identified four goals and the need for additional fundraising to:
- Pay off the loan for the building
- Improve facilities to accommodate much needed backstage space
- Focus on youth theater and film programs to encourage creative learning experiences
- Expand the Paradise “brand” to get audience participation from a broader market in and beyond the North Fork Valley.
As a community facility, The Paradise Theatre is like a salad bowl in which unique components can work together to create a rich and inclusive environment that serves the whole community. By providing the neutral venue, nonprofit organizations, community groups, and individuals have a place to express themselves.
The theater’s programming offers a broad mix of documentaries and entertainment. From independent films to Disney, we strive to provide a range of quality films to appeal to everyone. Our Cabin Fever series highlights the best of independent films. Our Documentary series is produced in collaboration with local nonprofits including conservation groups senior and youth projects, and the local school district. Concerts may range from honky-tonk dance bands to classical music. In addition, any group or individual may reserve the theater for films, music, lectures or private parties.
In our planning efforts, FOPT has been diligent in gathering input from all parts of the community – young and old, newcomers and old timers, ranchers and small business owners. Our Board of Directors has a healthy balance of age, gender, occupation and political preference.
FOPT has defined a seven member Board of Directors, and Artistic Director/General Manager, part-time staff and volunteers to run the organization. The Board is responsible for strategic planning, oversight and fiduciary duties. Staff and volunteers see to the day-to-day operations and event planning and implementation. All Board members are committed to supporting the Paradise Theatre in dedicating volunteer time and financial resources.
The Board meets formally each quarter to review progress toward achieving our goals, programming and ongoing projects and financial status. In between meetings, Board members actively support the Paradise Theatre by attending events and acting as advocates for the theater in their community.
As a new nonprofit organization, FOPT is subject to start up challenges. We have established a strong, diverse Board of Directors. Our Board has been diligent in establishing policies and procedures. We have engaged an events management contractor who is knowledgeable about the theater business to carry out operations. We are building and growing our list of supporters and patrons.
As a venue in a small town, FOPT will always have the challenge of cash flow. One of our goals is to maintain a healthy revenue stream that pays for the operations of the theater. This means that in addition to regular programming, the Paradise must provide innovative ways of attracting local and nonlocal patrons and supporters.
The FOPT Board has determined mid- to long-term goals for upgrading and expanding the Paradise. We have solicited input from performers, technician and community members and are setting our priorities.
Our planning efforts must involve our community at large as well as the performers and organizations that use the theater space. We began this process we formed the nonprofit corporation and continue to receive input. The Board has reviewed and discussed the information and has formulated plans for
- Immediate needs. Maintain regular operations in a sustainable manner by providing exceptional programs.
- Initiate a 2-year capital campaign in 2015 to fulfill our obligations to investors and to provide for expansion of facilities.
- In the long-term, establish distinctive programs (such as youth film and theater projects, regional film fests, developing local musicians) that will drive support from grantors and major donors.
The Board and Staff review our progress at quarterly meetings.