Derek Zemrak's Page


Digital Conversion Fundraiser

Moraga, California

Derek Zemrak's Page

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The California Independent Film Festival Association needs your help!


For over 50 years, the Rheem Theatre and the Orinda Theatre have served as recognizable and visible historic symbols of the Lamorinda community. These two theatres not only provide entertainment by delivering first-run blockbuster and independent films, but they also serve as a gathering place for all of us who live here, supplying a social center for cultural and community-based events. The Moraga Jazz Festival, Orinda Idol, the annual Oscar Party, the Classic Film Series, and Live Comedy are just a few examples.

In 2010, the California Independent Film Festival Association (A Non-Profit 501(c)3 organization) selected the Rheem Theatre as its new home. Last year, with the addition of the Orinda Theatre, Lamorinda Theatres was born.

Unfortunately, these two theatre complexes - along with every movie theatre in the country - have recently received a mandate from the large film studios requiring them to entirely digitize their equipment by 2013. Seven projectors, estimated at $70,000 each, are needed to maintain the viability of the two theatres. This is well beyond the financial capability of their current revenue stream, necessitating the need to raise additional capital through charitable contributions.

Through negotiations with the owners of Orinda Theatre Square, we have been able to secure the funding for the digital conversion at the Orinda Theatre. Now we need to do the same for the Rheem Theatre if it is to be usable as a venue for the Film Festival, as well as a site for first-run and independent movies throughout the year.

In a community-based effort to secure these funds and to promote on-going support to the California Independent Film Festival Association, CAIFFA dba LTF (Lamorinda Theatres Foundation) was created. You can help with this endeavor by a personal donation and/or by becoming a member of CAIFF/LTF. There are different member benefits, depending on the level of membership you select. (For details on membership levels, please visit us at

To date we have raised $50,000 for the Rheem Theatre conversion. For Phase I of our goal to upgrade the Rheem Theatre, we need to raise another $10,000 by July 8, 2012. This will allow us to take advantage of a 25 percent rebate that the studios have offered once the commitment to digital conversion is made. Phase II is the raising of another $50,000 by August 31, 2012. Phase III is the raising of $100,000 by December 31, 2013. Please help make this happen by becoming a CAIFFA/LTF member today and by making a donation to purchase the new digital projectors.

As an added benefit, after raising this capital, the equipment rental to the theatre operations will generate additional needed revenue to sustain the CAIFFA operations throughout the coming years.

California Independent Film Association dba Lamorinda Theatres Foundation, 501(C3).

 As a young kid growing in the small town of Winslow, Maine the local movie theatre closed down.  It was a sad day and I remember it to this day.  I wanted to do something about it but I was not able.  Now fast forward 30 years, the California Independent Film Festival which I founded in 1997 is on a campaign to help the Rheem Theatre go digital.  The movie studios are requiring all theatres across the ccountry to convert from 35MM film reel to the digital format.  This is a very expense undertaking for independent theatres like the Rheem and Orinda Theatres.  Many movie art house are closing.  At the cost of $70,000 per screen the business model does not work, but with doantation to the California Independent Film Festival Assocation the Rheem will continue in its beauty.  Please help with any donation.  We all have wonderful memories at the movies and the next generations should also experience the enjoy and love of the movies!  Thank you for helping!


P.S. In addition to all your regular movie-house benefits, your annual CAIFFA/ LTF membership will entitle you to priority ticketing and priority seating at the next California Independent Film.



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