Ragtag Cinema Raises Money to Go Digital

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COLUMBIA- Ragtag Cinema is trying to move from film to digital. In order to do this, the non-profit business is raising money in a robotic way.

Ragtag is using the theme "Ragtag needs Robots" to let people know that it needs money to make the transition from 35mm film to digital. Employee Cody McCarter said that if the cinema does not make the transition by next year then Ragtag will be "obsolete."

"Next year once all the chains go digital they are going to stop making 35mm film," said McCarter. "It will become a niche medium and new releases really won't be printed on film anymore."

The robot stands at about seven to eight feet tall and lights up. As people entered the small cinema you could hear the gasp and whispers about the recycled creation. 

McCarter said Ragtag is in need of a lot of digital equipment in order to stay in business. Ragtag is trying to raise $80,000 to go digital. So far people have pledged more than nine thousand dollars to help the cinema reach its goal. Ragtag is hoping to auction the robot in a couple of months for at least $10,000 to raise most of its money.

"It will take twenty- thousand dollars to finish the upgrade in the big theater and another sixty thousand to convert the small theater," said McCarter.

Founder, David Wilson, had the idea of using a robot to help raise money for the cinema. The robot was created by MU student Greg Orloff who built the robot from found parts.

Sunday marked the first day of the kick- off. The robot will be featured in the cinema until Monday night before it is moved to the Columbia Art League. It will stay at the Columbia Art League for a couple of weeks then it will be placed in the P.S. Gallery.

Ragtag has a prize list for the amount of money you pledge:


  • $5 equals a Ragtag robot sticker pack; name and recognition on website
  • $50 equals a film strip capsule- own a piece of history preserved in a clear cylinder
  • $250 equals a matted, limited edition, vintage pre- Hitt era Ragtag calender and a ticket to a special screening event at the Missouri Theater
Prizes are given to other pledge amounts. Ragtag is accepting all donations and you are also able to pledge money via its website.

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