With the recent announcement that the Montpelier Community Foundation had received ownership of the Centre Theatre, many public inquiries were received wondering about what the Foundation is and how it operates.
The Montpelier Community Foundation is a 501©(3) non-profit corporation registered with the State of Idaho and the Internal Revenue Service. The board is currently comprised of seven Montpelier residents and is governed by corporate bylaws that currently allows for the Montpelier City Council to appoint all board members although all city oversight ends at that point. The board elects its own officers and chooses its own community projects to work on and fundraising goals. Foundation officers and board member serve on a volunteer basis.
The Foundation is not owned by the City of Montpelier and currently does not receive any annually-appropriated city tax dollars. The Foundation operates and is managed separately from the city by the board of directors. All funds expended by the Foundation come from donations, grants and fundraisers and are used solely with the goal of enhancing the community of Montpelier.
There are times where a city project and the Foundation community goals are mirrored as in the case of upgrading the city Christmas lights and the fire department’s need for a new oxygen compressor. Donations from the community and private grants were requested through the Foundation with funding received and paid to the vendors. Another example of assisting local organizations with fundraising is when the Pickleball committee received funds through the Foundation by virtue of donations from Broulim’s and Maverik that were used toward the new Pickleball courts in Wells C. Stock Park.
The Centre Theatre donation to the Foundation was a culmination of a three-month negotiation to ensure that valley residents would have continued access to movie entertainment in Montpelier. Through a unique arrangement, the Foundation received ownership of the facility through a series of donations that will take three years to complete. The owners of the Idanha Theatre have agreed to a lease agreement to manage the Centre Theatre where they pay all expenses of the theatre including operating, maintenance, and utilities of the theatre for the next three years. At that time, they will have an option to purchase the facility from the Foundation.
The success of the Centre Theatre will depend on the support of Montpelier and Bear Lake valley residents as well as tourists. Since 35 to 65 percent of movie tickets sold are paid to movie production companies like Disney, Sony, Warner Brothers, and others, small rural theatres depend on concession sales to be profitable. The Foundation believes that having a local movie theatre is a sign of an increasingly vibrant community and is desperately desired by local residents.
Anyone wishing to donate funds, buildings or time as a volunteer, please contact any member of the board or contact Montpelier Community Foundation, 830 Washington Street, Montpelier, ID 83254. Donations can be accepted at this address or through their Facebook page of the same name.