Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Welder Center upgrade brings film options to Victoria

By the Advocate Editorial Board
May 22, 2014 at 12:22 a.m.

The Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts is getting an upgrade.

At the Victoria College Board of Trustees meeting Monday, the board approved the purchase of a digital cinema projector for the theater. The projector, which will cost $66,445, will be purchased through Office Systems Center in Victoria, which is owned by Dan Pedone, the father of Victoria TX Independent Film Festival Director Anthony Pedone. About 90 percent of the funds will come from hotel occupancy tax funds, and the rest will be paid through funds from the film festival, Theatre Victoria and the Welder Center's operating budget.

This is an exciting development for the Welder Center and downtown Victoria. For years, Victoria has only had one movie theater, which limits movie options to major blockbusters and the occasional special feature.

With this purchase, the Welder Center is planning to host showings of independent films once the projector is installed in June, Sue Prudhomme, Victoria College director of Cultural Affairs, said in a previous article. The college will put together a program committee of interested members to help decide what will be shown at the theater. The community is also welcome to make suggestions.

This addition opens whole new possibilities for Victoria and the Welder Center. Residents will have the ability to watch some amazing, unique pieces of artistry that often don't get exposure in theaters that show big blockbuster movies. Film fans will have more options for entertainment in Victoria, and the Welder Center will see more usage that will draw people to the downtown area. This plan, if properly executed, will be a win-win on multiple sides.

We applaud the Victoria College board for its decision to support this proposal and purchase the projector. Of course, there is still a lot of planning to do, but we look forward to seeing the Welder Center become an even more active part of the entertainment community in Victoria.

Once the projector is installed and films are chosen, we encourage the community to come out and take advantage of this unique opportunity. Not every town, especially ones of Victoria's size or smaller, have theaters that are devoted to showing independent films.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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