Don’t Let Us Go Dark – Campaign to Save the LCCC Film Series

In 1966, Professor Robert Dudash set out to create a film series, providing a thought-provoking extra-curricular activity for students on the brand new campus of Lorain County Community College. Originally shown at various locations around campus, the film series found its permanent home upon the completion of the Stocker Arts Center in 1980. By providing access to quality films representing cultural perspectives from art cinemas around the world, the Film Series offered a unique entertainment and educational experience not found anywhere else in Lorain County.

In 2014, nearly half century after its creation, the film series was still going strong, serving more than 4,000 students and community members each year. It had evolved into something more than an extracurricular; it had become a vital part of Lorain County Community College’s community and cultural outreach cornerstones.

But it was becoming alarmingly clear to Bob Dudash, founder and curator of the film series that the film industry’s conversion to digital format would render the Stocker Arts Center’s 35mm film projector obsolete in just a few short months. With no films available outside of digital format, the film series faced an uncertain future and a difficult dilemma: find funding for a new digital projector or go dark.  

With limited resources and the need to prioritize equipment updates across campus, the College’s budgets could not accommodate the expense of a new projector. The Lorain County Community College Foundation, with help from a dedicated committee of volunteers, led a community-based campaign to save the film series. With wide community support, the campaign was able to raise $125,000 to purchase a digital projector and equipment upgrades necessary to secure the future of the series.

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