Pioneer surpasses its fundraising goal

By on January 31, 2021

Gofundme page to help with key expense

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.

Gofundme Fundraiser for Historic Pioneer Theater repairs

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.”







  • outis

    I will gladly donate to the cause! For all the pleasure the Pioneer Theater, and the Creef family, has provided to me, my family, and the community over the years, it definitely deserves the help and support of the community now. SAVE the PIONEER!

    Monday, Feb 1 @ 7:13 am
  • Travis

    It’d be a whole lot easier to hit the donate button if Mr. Creef had not spent the last year on social media repeatedly downplaying the seriousness of covid, repeating anti-mask rhetoric and tossing turd bombs at the governor. It hurt your business, I get it. A lot of people were impacted, myself included. But there was no malice behind the decisions that were made to protect the public.
    I’ve enjoyed trips to the Pioneer enough that I will likely still donate to the cause, but you sure make it harder to want to give by venting about things using flawed information to justify your outrage.

    Monday, Feb 1 @ 2:59 pm
  • surf123

    @Travis…definitely worth noting as many avoid social media. This can serve as a reminder to all businesses to stay out of politics and controversial subjects. You never will win with the public in the end, unless you just ignore it all. I like the Pioneer so I’ll send him some money and the flip-flopping by the governor was never reassuring to business owners who were/are fighting to stay alive.

    Tuesday, Feb 2 @ 10:42 am
  • Dethrol

    Cancel culture is apparently alive and well here in our friendly little community. It’s a shame, really. No differing opinions tolerated, thank you very much. The Pioneer is an icon that harkens back to simpler, better times for many, many people. Good luck to the Pioneer and Mr. Creef.

    Tuesday, Feb 2 @ 11:10 am
  • Heather C

    Why did they not have $10,000 with a business that has a paid for building and has been around for generations? Banks still give business loans don’t they???

    Tuesday, Feb 2 @ 7:40 pm
  • OBX Resident

    The Pioneer Theater is Manteo history and we all want it to prosper with peace and popcorn and movies. But, a GoFundMe page, please….where does this stop. There are loans, Covid money, the building is paid for, the family owns multiple income producing properties that are leased (restaurant, other businesses and residential uses) There are multiple other online funding websites such as kickstarter that reward donors, ie donate $10 and get a free ticket, $25 get two tickets and a popcorn, etc. A kickstarter style campaign would have been in much better taste and better thank the community for their support and donations. . Also, why continue the campaign if the amount of the projector has been surpassed? Hopefully, he will use the additional funds to repaint the fading mural, address exterior building repairs, or at least paint the roadside sign. I love the Pioneer but not the campaign.

    Wednesday, Feb 3 @ 8:31 pm
  • Nags Head newbie

    Hey look at all the morons injecting politics into helping a small business out during Covid… how “progressive” of you 🙄 if you don’t like it don’t donate or go to his theater. Take your cancel culture BS and cancel your mouth.

    Thursday, Feb 4 @ 7:34 am