The Roanoker September/October 2017 - 69
But the years took their toll as mall theaters became
commonplace, and in 2001 the Grandin closed its doors
after showing a fitting final film: Peter Bogdanovich's "The
Last Picture Show."
Fortunately, the people of Roanoke, and especially the
Raleigh Court neighborhood, said no. Under the leadership of a small group of concerned citizens, the Grandin
Theatre Foundation was formed, and three-fourths of a
million dollars were raised to re-open the Grandin's doors.
For the next decade or so, the theatre struggled to stay
afloat. By 2013, the Grandin's board had rising concerns
about sustainability, with a whopping 93 percent of its
revenue coming from ticket and concession sales.
"In the nonprofit arts, you need around a 60/40 revenue split to be viable," Fortier explains. "Sixty percent
from admission and concession sales, and 40 percent from
diverse sources like corporate sponsors, rentals, slide advertising and grants." It was clear that funding sources
needed to be broadened if the Grandin was to survive.
That, and a creative eye to see new ways to use the
Theatre space and diversify its programming.
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 | 69