WHITEHALL — An effort called “Save the Star” has started in Whitehall to buy a digital projector for the town’s Star Theatre.

Nearly all movie distribution has switched to the digital format and few reels of film are available. The Star’s digital projector, which will provide stereo sound, will cost about $70,000.

Holly Harper, who leads Save the Star, said the theater provides a place where kids can affordably gather and find safe entertainment and good popcorn.

“There’s no financial reason for the theater owners (Kerry and Karen Sacry) to invest in the theater upgrade as it would never pay off, so if Whitehall wants to keep its theater, the community of Whitehall needs to step up,” she said.

And Whitehall is doing just that.

Multiple Whitehall book clubs will gather at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, for Whitehall Community Book Club Night in the Star Theatre. Harper will lead the discussion. Glenn Marx will be there to discuss his book, “Talk About a Dream.” Admission is free and everyone is welcome with free popcorn served.

All proceeds from Marx’s book will go toward the theater effort. Books are $19.99 and available at these Whitehall businesses: Corner Store, Star Theatre, Jefferson IGA, Whitehall Ledger and Ledger website http://www.whitehallledger.com, and from Holly Harper and Glenn Marx.

“The book club night on Sept. 12 should be a lot of fun,” said Harper. “The local book clubs will meet together and discuss a local author’s novel that is actually set in Whitehall. People are welcome if they haven’t read the book or aren’t part of the book club. There’s no cost to attend and we’re all pretty sure the discussion’s going to be lively.”

Harper said Marx’s novel is a fun read about Montana, family and determination.

“But it’s also about dysfunction, oddities, and luck, and how a family can have the important things without being approved by Better Homes & Gardens,” she said.

Marx says his book, set in 1986 Whitehall, celebrates Montana, rural communities and the bonds of family, and is a tribute to “discipline, hard work, and to be honest, to Bruce Springsteen.”

Marx added that reviews of the book have been positive, the response from the Whitehall community has been impressive and the book has been accepted into the Bruce Springsteen Special Collection, housed at New Jersey’s Monmouth University.

“Save the Star is about much more than a local business or movies,” said Marx. “This is a quality of life and economic development issue for Whitehall. The movie

theater is an important business in an historic building, and it is essential for small rural communities like Whitehall to maintain economic diversity and social and cultural amenities like the theater.”

For information about the Save the Star effort, call Holly Harper 490-1729 for details.

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