GIVE THE ACME MOVIES A HOME!
I, the undersigned, support the formal establishment of the ACME Screening Room film program at the Justice Center, 25 S. Union St, Lambertville, NJ by written contract. I applaud the City of Lambertville and Mayor DelVecchio, owners of the property, for supporting the ACME program thus far: getting the funding for its film equipment, assisting with grants and being a fantastic cheerleader for the program. And, I urge the City to continue on this path of supporting the arts and to take the steps they have stated are necessary to guarantee structured use of the Justice Center building for ongoing film and cultural programs in the future, through the instrument of a written contract that will allow for reliable planning of events and help secure the viability of this special community asset. I understand the City has said that to form such a contract the City will have to issue a public request for proposals (RFP) for an organization to run a film program at this location. I respect the need for this official process. I also understand that the Friends of Lambertville Library, despite the effort they have put in to set up and run the current ACME film program, would have to submit a proposal in response to the RFP and that the Friends are not guaranteed that they will be awarded the contract. Despite these risks, if an RFP is necessary to formally establish a film program at this location, I ask the City to issue the RFP without further delay. WHY The ACME film program provides a public benefit to the Lambertville community, one that the City does not provide. Indeed, the Justice Center is an underutilized community space and the film program brings that space to life in a way that benefits the entire community, with entertainment, opportunity for fellowship and great cinema programming that is not otherwise available in town. But to grow this asset it needs to be formally established with a guaranteed home. Therefore, I urge the City to form a contract that will guarantee the film program a home and generally: -Guarantee the Justice Center can be used for film screenings sponsored by a sole entity on specific weekly dates for up to two years at no charge/rent, or at a rent in proportion to the total program budget; -Grant the program formal permission to raise funds in the building by charging admission at film screenings and selling concessions; -Allow placement of marquee signs that comply with zoning codes outside the building (paid for by the film program); -Allow current seating in the building to be upgraded to more comfortable seats (paid for by the film program); and -Allow additional film equipment to be placed in the building and internet access (paid for by the film program) in order to download more cost effective and popular first run films for the program. This written contract would allow for the presentation of first run films as part of the film program, via digital download. This will enrich the program and draw larger audiences. But we need a contract to do so. Without advancing to these next steps, the program may not continue, due to the heavy cost in time and money to present second run films each weekend and the diminished audience size for these films. Again, I sincerely urge the City to support the arts and allow this program to develop to its full potential by establishing its home at the Justice Center by written contract.