Bay Area Crowdfunding: The New Parkway Facade

newparkwayNot comic book related, but a very worthy mention for one of the coolest indie movie theaters in the United States. Oakland’s New Parkway is raising money to put a new façade on the space. Not only will this help bring attention to the theater, but also make a glum section of 24th & Telegraph a little brighter. The Kickstarter has less than 39 hours left and they’re more than $20,000 away from their goal, so the chances they’ll get what they need this round isn’t likely. This is less of plea for readers of The Shared Universe to pledge, but more of a hope that The New Parkway will try again.

It should be noted that I only found out about this campaign this morning thanks to a sponsored post on Facebook. It’s tragic really, because I spent eight hours in The New Parkway lobby for CAAMFest on Sunday and if there was anything alerting patrons to the Kickstarter it certainly didn’t catch my eye. If they relaunch the campaign I have a handful of suggestions for making a more successful campaign:

1. Have they sought a façade improvement grant through the city of Oakland? The city has limited funds earmarked for helping businesses make better first impressions. There’s no guarantee that The New Parkway would qualify, but I’d like to know the theater at the least made the effort.

2. What materials will go into the façade? How much labor? One of the many things I love about The New Parkway is the entire venue is very DIY. I imagine this will continue when creating the new façade and as a backer I’d like to know how much of the funding is going toward materials and how much is going toward manual labor.

3. How will they promote the campaign? What’s the plan for getting the word out? Any in-house events planned?

4. Lower backer levels. Statistically projects with reward levels of $20 or less are more likely to succeed. Kickstarter isn’t shy about sharing data, so it’s known that Kickstarters without a reward level under $20 only succeed 28 percent of the time while those with a reward level below $20 succeed 45 percent of the time.  Also, the most popular backer level is $25.

5. More updates. I have no statistics on updates, but I do know when I back a campaign I feel more connected if I receive four or five updates during the life of the campaign. In addition to feeling valued it keeps the campaign in my mind and I push it out to friends. For the first Kickstarter the New Parkway made eight updates during the life of the campaign, but this time they only made their first three days ago.

The New Parkway is an amazing space and it deserves to have a top notch street facing showcase.  If you haven’t been it’s worth checking out.


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