Brattle Keeps Rattling Along

New York-based consulting firm Katzenbach Partners LLC hosted a workshop yesterday to brainstorm ideas on how to reach The Brattle Theatre’s target goal of $500,000 to increase its self-sufficiency.

Last year, the Brattle Theatre—plagued by financial problems—faced a potential closing until it raised $200,000 to cover its debt. But the theatre has continued its fundraising efforts, according to executives at the Brattle.

Katzenbach’s four hour long session sought to generate ideas on how best to solicit funds to expand programs at the Harvard Square landmark.

“Our goal is to generate ideas that revitalize the Brattle so that they can have a turnaround,” said Raja G. Haddad ’05, an associate consultant at Katzenbach. “It’s an opportunity for brains to come together and to have an action plan.”

The workshop yesterday attracted about 45 students from Harvard College, the Law School, and the Kennedy School of Government. The money would allow the theatre to expand its operations.

The group of students was split into four different teams dealing with enhancing the overall theatre experience, increasing the number of viewers in the 18-25 year old demographic, forging strategic partnerships, and cultivating donors.

Students suggested holding “movie-themed” nights and advertising the theatre through Facebook and other online networking sites.

They also agreed that the Brattle Theatre could create an internship and development program to increase student involvement.

The new ideas offered by the students provide the theatre with an opportunity to move in a new direction, according to Brattle administrators.

“Our goal is to find funding to grow new programs and to continue our momentum,” said Ivy Moylan, executive director of the Brattle Film Foundation. “We want to be able to work in film preservation and offer grants to independent film studios.”

Associates at the workshop also said that the event provided a forum to advance the nonprofit organization’s cause and to introduce Harvard students to the consulting world.

“We wanted to take the Brattle’s operations to the next level and to give Harvard students an idea of what consulting actually is,” said Niko Canner ’94, co-founder and managing partner of Katzenbach Partners.

“We’re moving into a different concept of the campaign,” said Ned Hinkle, creative director of the Brattle Theatre. “We felt like we needed a platform to build on.”