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The New Brooklyn Theater Pivots, Detours

NBT did not make its Kickstarter goal, but they have a plan-B...

Thursday, October 4, marked the last day of the Kickstarter campaign launched by New Brooklyn Theater-- a non-profit theater company newly formed to raise $200,000 to buy and restore the Slave Theater at 1215 Fulton Street-- and the company did not make its goal.

For the past four years, the crumbling historic theater, while embroiled in a battle for ownership, had slipped into foreclosure.

In March 2012, NBT formed and has spent the last eight months trying to save the building from falling into the hands of either condo developers or big-chain retailers.

More specifically, NBT wants to restore the 550-seat main stage theater to the elegance of its original design from when the building opened in 1910, including an orchestra pit and musical productions; the main stage also would be wired with new lighting and state-of-the-art sound technology.

In the 60 days since the campaign's launch, 507 people pledged $41,372 in support of NBT's campaign, and on November 5, 2012, the building will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Because they did not reach their goal, Kickstarter is not charging supporters for their pledges. But according to Jonathan Solari, NBT's artistic director, the theater company will move forward with their campaign to purchase the property. And already, it has sent a message asking supporters to re-pledge their donations directly through NBT's Pay Pal account on its website.

"Although we didn't reach our goal, Kickstarter did exactly what it said it would; it kickstarted this product," Solari told Bed-Stuy Patch. "

Within an hour of announcing they would continue the project despite falling short of their $200,000 goal, 20 people already had re-pledged, including one Bed-Stuy resident, who stepped up with a substantial pledge, said Solari. 

"In the next month, we're trying to raise as much money as possible to insure we're in the best position possible against any competitor at the auction," Solari said.

"New Brooklyn Theater will be sitting down again with Bed-Stuy's elected officials and key community leaders to ask for their support once we go to auction. The Kickstarter campaign has changed to a direct line into our account. But none of our game plan has changed."

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