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Nonprofit buys Moxie Cinema

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The Moxie Cinema, 431 S. Jefferson, has sold to the Downtown Springfield Community Cinema, a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Owners Dan and Nicole Chilton listed the independent movie house last October, and after the listing leaked, Nicole Chilton confirmed the theater was for sale via the Moxie's blog April 10.

Using the same blog, Dan Chilton today wrote a lengthy post explaining the husband-and-wife business duo's decision to sell the business they started in September 2005.

Their main reasoning - they needed more time for their child.

"We needed to shift our focus from work to our new family, for the good of both our babies: Jasper and the Moxie," Dan Chilton wrote in the blog.

The newly created Downtown Springfield Community Cinema is a nonprofit administered by a volunteer board through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

The volunteer board will be made up by President Stephanie Montgomery, Secretary Sally Baird, and board members William Bowman, Angela Vincent, Molly Robb and Rosalie Wooten. Taking over as director will be Mike Stevens, who moved back to Springfield from New York to run the theater, according to a CFO news release.

The nonprofit will accept donations, which will be tax-deductible and added to the Downtown Springfield Community Cinema Fund. The organization will offer $100, $250, $500 and $1000 donation-based membership levels, which will include benefits such as discounted tickets and special event invites, according to the release.

“Everyone who buys a ticket and a bag of popcorn is helping support the Moxie, but we believe that memberships will involve the community in a stronger way and create long-term sustainability,” Stevens said in the release. “We are eager to carry on Dan and Nicole’s vision to show first-rate films that don’t always break into the commercial mass-market theater chains.”

Chilton wrote that the change in ownership won't usher a change in the theater - they made sure of that when choosing a buyer.

In October 2009, the Chiltons listed the Moxie with The Kingsley Group for $150,000, which included the business, equipment, branding and Web site, according to Springfield Business Journal coverage.

What's next for the Chiltons? Dan will be working with technology blog Engadget.com, Nicole will take time off and both will spend time with their child, according to the blog post.

"It’s been a fantastic run, and I wouldn’t trade the last five years of my life for anything," Dan Chilton wrote in the blog. "Nicole and I had an opportunity to follow our passion and create a business that has become a staple of downtown Springfield."[[In-content Ad]]

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