By Outer Banks Voice on January 31, 2021
Update: As of the morning of Feb. 2, the Pioneer Theater gofundme campaign has exceeded its goal of $10,000 by raising almost $16,000. In a Facebook post, owner Buddy Creef wrote that, “I am so awestruck and humbled by the massive outpouring of support and love for the Pioneer Theater…It is quite an experience to feel so much love and appreciation for a business that means so much to you. I love each and every one of you and put forth a very humble and sincere thank you. As soon as we can order the appropriate equipment and get it installed, we will let you know the reopening date. As I always say, Peace, Love, and Popcorn to all of you my friends.”
The past year hasn’t been easy for our local movie theaters. The Pioneer in downtown Manteo had to shut its doors for six months during the pandemic. But as a previous story in the Voice reported, it continued to sell popcorn, candy and fountain drinks in order “to provide a sense of normalcy to the community, to our customers,” in the words of owner Buddy Creef.
Now the community can help the 103-year-old theater. Urged on by fans, Creef has started, with some apparent reluctance, a gofundme page to help with a crucial expense. Here’s an excerpt from his message.
“Like a lot of businesses we have been hit very hard with COVID shutdowns and restrictions, but we were still hanging on trying our best to serve our loyal customers and community. Unfortunately, we have had a major malfunction in our digital projector system that will take a minimum of $10,000 to repair. It is with much humility were are setting up this fund at the insistence of a large number of our loyal supporters. For four generations the Creef family has owned and operated this theater, taking pride in being there for our friends, customers and community, and 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 everyone, Peace, Love, and Popcorn.”