Cinema Awarded Morton MicroGrant for Digital Projection

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18, 2013 – Morton, IL - Today, the Morton Economic Development Council announced that Mark McSparin, Owner of Morton Cinema, has been awarded a Morton MicroGrant to support an upgrade to digital projection equipment for their five theater location at the Field Shopping Center.  The Morton MicroGrant is a special fund created by the Morton Economic Development Council to encourage small business development and job creation for Morton.  The grant is made possible through a directed contribution by Morton Community Bank.

The grant funding of $3,000 will be used by McSparin to help replace the existing projection equipment in all five cinema auditoriums with digital projectors. The auditoriums currently have projectors which use 35 mm film and will soon be completely obsolete.  “35 mm prints of movies are quickly declining and soon product will only be available in digital format,” said McSparin.  “This project will allow us to keep the theater open.”

Since purchasing the Morton Cinema last year, McSparin has made several improvements including new paint and signage and an increase in staff and hours.  “When we purchased the Morton Cinemas from Reynolds Theaters there were three part time assistant managers,” said McSparin.  “We hired a full time manager, a full time assistant manager, and a janitor who is basically full time.  We also increased our hours of operation by over 32 hours a week.”

The Morton Economic Development Council was pleased to assist another Morton business through the Morton MicroGrant program.  “Morton Cinema is striving to upgrade their facilities so they can continue to operate here in Morton,” said Jennifer Daly, CEO for the Morton EDC.  “We believe this funding assistance will help them make the improvements needed to stay and grow in our community.”

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