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For R250,000 You can rename the Labia

25 July 2014, 16:32
The Labia Theatre in Cape Town, famed for being the oldest independent cinema in South Africa, is offering renaming rights for a handsome quarter-of-a-million. This iconic venue is fighting for its existence as a result of their dire need to upgrade its aging projection infrastructure to digital. They recently installed the last available projection bulb and, besides that, movie distributors have stopped making non-digital film reels available. The last such reel was obtained by the Labia a month ago.
Last night, the owner of the Labia, Ludi Kraus spoke about the predicament at the launch of the Labia's crowdfunding campaign to go digital. In a live interview in one of their theatre halls, he described the Labia's history, including its naming after the Italian princess Ida Labia, and their funding challenges for the necessary digital equipment. The crowd present was entertained by live music, the fork-bending mentalist Larry Soffer and a comedy showing. 
The Labia has turned to crowdfunding to raise the R2million that they need. Through the local crowdfunding platform Thundafund.com, they are offering various rewards for backing them. I, for instance, purchased a reward for 10 movie tickets and free popcorn to go with, for R300! (R30 a movie ticket is too much of a great offer to pass!) And in the time I mingled during the launch, more than R10,000 came in from various people through Thundafund. 
Now that is the power of the crowd! And with the Labia offering so many rewards including naming seats in the cinema hallsand producer rights with private screenings, it will be interesting to see someone take up the mega reward: the naming rights of the cinema! We all have to admit that the name of the cinema raises an eye brow, and it will be sad to have such an iconic legacy renamed, but for the great cinematic experiences the Labia offers, its legacy will endure for generations to come anyway.
They are running their campaign at www.thundafund.com/thelabia . Since last night more have joined their campaign and they are sitting on nearly R80,000 raised! It's great to see such enthusiasm as well as the embracing of a novel funding approach. And in the meantime, I watch to see how many others will join in. 
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