Taihape's Majestic Theatre is just months away from a full digital upgrade.
Manager Simone Simpson said last year's fundraising efforts in the community were "stepped up and pushed hard" in the town.
"Because, without being fully digital, we won't get the films we need to keep the theatre afloat."
"One thousand people have pledged to give $25 and, to be honest, our fundraising efforts are looking good. We need $70,000 and we're $20,000 short ... but we'll get it, I know we will."
December 2017 will be the centenary of the old landmark theatre.
She said to have it still going as a successful modern theatre would be fabulous.
Without digital technology it was hard to get latest release films, which was especially bad for children's animated movies.
"Families have to leave town for Palmerston North or Wanganui to see these big movies, and it ends up really costing them.
By the time they have paid for petrol, theatre tickets then probably lunch on the way as well, it's an expensive outing."
Ms Simpson said they already have the projector, but really need the rest of the equipment which cost around $35,000. The 98-year-old theatre seats 138 but with popular films being harder and fewer to get the audiences had dwindled, she said.
In two weeks the theatre will be showing the movie Suffragette.
"We've had to wait to get it, but I know there are people in this town who will love it."
The film, set in early 20th-century Britain, shows how the growing suffragette movement forever changes the life of working wife and mother Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan).
Inspired by political activist Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), Watts joins a diverse group of women who fight for equality and the right to vote.
"Hopefully, by the middle of the year there will be no more waiting for great films. We really are determined to raise the money and not let our theatre go under."