City Lights Cinemas recently capped its business-sustaining fundraising effort via GoFundMe by meeting an impressive $12,000 challenge donation, putting the effort over the total campaign goal with a final tally of $71,000.
While initially following the wishes of the donor to remain anonymous, City Lights can now unveil that the mystery matching donor is longtime patron Becky Goehring.
“Michael [Falter] and Susan [Tive] took a chance on Florence in late 2013 when they saw the theater sitting empty while on a vacation trip along the Oregon coast,” recalled Goehring. “In the seven years since, they have turned City Lights Cinemas into one of Florence’s treasures.”
Goehring said she and wife Suzanne Green, who passed away 18 months ago, loved the theater and the diverse programming.
“We also loved the way that Michael and Susan have embraced the community and given back in so many ways,” said Goehring. “The idea of the screens going dark permanently is simply not an option.”
The GoFundMe campaign began in early November after Executive Order 20-65 shuttered the venue (the third time a closure was necessitated in 2020).
“Having already remodeled the space for safety and comfort, the final closure was potentially a business-killer,” said Falter. “The outpouring of support from Florence and further afield for keeping cinema — and a community space — alive was truly overwhelming, said Falter.”
Goehring explained that she and wife Suzanne loved City Lights Cinemas and always looked forward to their weekly schedules.
When Greene passed away, Goehring said the GoFundMe challenge match, “was a wonderful way to honor both her memory and the joy that City Lights Cinemas brought to her life.”
Greene’s brother, Preston, agreed.
“My sister was a unique individual who loved what she loved and did not put up with what she did not,” he said. “And she was not shy about letting you know her preferences. She will be missed by many. Movies were a special love and especially City Lights Cinemas in Florence.”
Falter and Tive wanted to acknowledge Goehring’s gift with a lasting statement and approached her with an idea.
In honor of Greene and in gratitude for the gift, City Lights is re-christening Theatre 1 as “The Greene Screene.”
“All of us at City Lights loved Suzanne’s acerbic wit and her general approach to picking a film to watch —which was namely most anything we put onscreen, said Falter. “It was a true honor for us to host her memorial service after her passing, which seemed appropriate given her love of the big screen.”
City Lights Cinemas is located at 1930 Highway 101 on Florence, featuring the best in commercial, arthouse, and Performing Arts in HD.