“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”. ― Plato
In 1929, a loaf of bread was nine cents, a gallon of gas was 25 cents. You could come to the movies for 35 cents and grab a popcorn for less than a nickel. Back in 1929, the GEM was a place for first dates, engagements, and Saturdays filled with cartoons and westerns. It was a place for community. A place to gather and a place to escape the worries of the world for just a little bit.
Now, some 90 years later, the GEM s still a place to gather. A place for community and a place to escape our worries.
But today, our worries are centered around a worldwide pandemic that is rocking us to our foudation....COVID-19. COVID-19 is stealing our loved ones, our time, our memories, our sense of normalcy, and our businesses. And COVID-19 has rocked the entertainment industry to its core.
Broadway is closed. Theatres like the GEM were shuttered across the country. Everything paused on March 13, 2020. As mandates closed venues and public gatherings. In the blink of an eye, ticket sales, the life blood of performance venues went from robust to non-existent.
We watched...and we waited. We prayed. We are still praying. We thought the GEM would be shut down for a few weeks. Then weeks turned into a month..then three...then four.
We were finally able to reopen in July but reopened to a reduced capacty and a reduced show calendar. We have moved our larger national acts to 2021 because we can't safely accommodate them.
We started to worry if we would survive. Even in a "normal" business environment, the margins to operate a venue like the GEM are tight. We thought if we opened responsibly people would come. But they haven't. The shows we have had have ben mostly empty seats ad we understand, COVID is scary.
But for the GEM, it has made us wonder about the long term survival of the theatre.
We want to be here for years to come. To offer free movies in the summer to your children and grandchildren. To offer low cost concerts. To create a new era of the GEM. But we need your help.
We are beginning a fundraising campaign to help us through the disaster that is COVID. Any amount will help. You can give $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 or even more. All the money will go to keep the doors of the GEM open until things are back to normal or close enough.
Our revenues are currently down more than $135,000 and clmbing. Ticket sales trickle in for the shows that we are having. What small business financing we have received has helped tremendously, but it isn't going to last forever.
The power bill doesn't stop. Insurance premiums don't stop. Other monthly expenses don't stop. So there's a lot of money going out and not a lot coming in. We are open and ready to work, but like we said, people aren't quite ready to come back.
We ask that you please consider giving to our campaign. A little bit wil go a long way in helpg us stay open through this pandemic and provide years of entertainment in the future.
We thank you for your past and continued support!