103-year-old Outer Banks movie theater needs help repairing projection system

Pioneer Theater [photo courtesy Outer Banks Visitors Bureau]

The second century of operation for a family-owned movie house in downtown Manteo has seen both ups and downs. But the double-whammy of being closed for months due to COVID-19 and now a failure with its digital projector threatens to bring down the curtain permanently.

The Pioneer Theater, which has stood on Budleigh Street since 1918 and owned by the Creef family, has weathered everything from storms and floods to a pair of global pandemics.

Once restrictions on movie theaters were lifted in late summer, Buddy Creef began showings films ranging from “The Peanut Butter Falcon” to “Jaws”.

Then came “a major malfunction in our digital projector system that will take a minimum of $10,000 to repair,” Creef said. Now a GoFundMe effort has been launched to help pay for it.

“It is with much humility were are setting up this fund at the insistence of a large number of our loyal supporters,” Creef said.

“For four generations, the Creef family has owned and operated this theater, taking pride in being there for our friends, customers and community,” Creef said. “(A)nd we have been convinced by others that love us, it is OK to swallow your pride and accept help from those who want to lend a hand.”

“As always, we wish every one ‘Peace, Love, and Popcorn’,” Creef said.

    This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.