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Cinema in Milford launches fundraising campaign to keep doors open

Milford cinema launches fundraiser to support facility
Milford cinema launches fundraiser to support facility 02:34

MILFORD, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A local cinema in Milford is struggling to keep its doors open after facing some financial hardship.

"For many people in the community, they remember coming to this as a kid," said Rich Trice, Huron Valley Film Organization board member.

When you picture a small-town cinema, freshly cooked popcorn, its charm, and its history may come to mind.

Pictured is the single-screen theatre inside Milford Independent Cinema. CBS Detroit

"It's been here a long time. The original theatre was downtown and in the 1960s that one shut down and then this location, this was reopened in 1972 by the Henn family, and they operated this until 2020," said Trice.

Like many businesses during the pandemic, the cinema shut down.

"The public outcry about that was significant, and so a group of us got together, and we decided we wanted to reopen this as a nonprofit and we reached out to the community at that time for support, and the community absolutely responded, and we were able to do a complete remodel, change the seats, add the sound, update some of our equipment's and give it a brand new look and a brand new feel while still respecting the history of this cinema in this small community," Trice said.

The Milford Independent Cinema, formerly known as Milford Cinema and previously owned by the Henn family. CBS Detroit

It reopened in 2021 with new owners and the new name "Milford Independent Cinema."

Last year though, the cinema struggled to get by and again may have to shut its doors.

"Between the various strikes that happened out of Hollywood, between the challenges of being a single-screen cinema which is not a terribly common thing anymore, we found that we run at a bit of a loss," said Trice.

To help keep the magic of cinema alive in Milford, the nonprofit launched a fundraising campaign on Feb. 16. The support so far has been overwhelming.

The Milford Independent Cinema located at 945 E Summit St, Milford, MI 48381. CBS Detroit

"The original goal which we thought was lofty was $10K in 10 days, and in the first day, we surpassed that. It really reinforced the impact that we're having on the community and the fact that the community does value this as well," Trice said.

Every dollar raised will go toward the cinema's operations. In the meantime, the staff is asking the public for its continued support.  

"Besides donating to our fundraiser, one of the best ways to support us is just to come join us, come see a movie with us, come to one of our events, be part of our community here at the cinema," said Trice.

The cinema is always accepting donations, but if you would like to take part in this specific fundraising campaign, you have until Feb. 25 to donate.

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