Ragtag Cinema hopes "skedaddle" will raise money for equipment

Friday, October 14, 2011 | 6:55 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Homecoming will not be the only entertainment this weekend. The Ragtag Cinema is organizing a treasure hunt Sunday near downtown. The top three finishers will win cash and movie tickets.

The proceeds from the Ragtag "skedaddle" game will help the cinema buy a new digital projection system that would enhance the audio and visual experience for film-goers.

Ragtag Executive Director Tracy Lane said in an email that the new projection system will help meet the objectives of the Digital Cinema Initiatives, which aims to provide "a uniform and high level of technical performance, reliability and quality control."

Lane started a campaign to raise money for the projection system last October. So far, donors have contributed more than $50,000.

“Many of them have made contributions solely because they believe in our mission,” Lane said.

Other fundraising events have included a movie trivia night in January and a special reception and screening for the film "Turkey Bowl" with the film's director, Kyle Smith, in June.

"We host a fun, unique and interactive event each quarter until we can purchase and install the projection system," Lane said.

Ragtag hopes the event will bring in the final dollars needed to buy and install the system soon, according to the cinema’s website.

The game will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday at the cinema and will continue until 6 p.m. Participants will receive a clue pointing them to the first destination in the treasure hunt and will get subsequent clues at each location. If teams get stuck, they can call the Skedaddle Hotline to buy hints. Details of the clues and hints are under lock and key. Only three staff members, who masterminded the hunt, know about them, Lane said.

"We strive to provide genuinely thought-provoking entertainment, even in our fundraising events," she added.

The first three teams to finish the course will receive $500, $250 and $100 respectively, and each team member will receive a Ragtag movie ticket. The prizes were donated by members of the cinema's board of directors, Lane wrote.

Teams may register until noon Sunday. Entry fees are $100 per team. Game rules can be found on Ragtag’s website.

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