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A birthday present for the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena

Cathy Buck, owner and creative director of St. Helena's Cameo Cinema, hugs the new Barco 4K Cinema Laser Projector, made possible by two anonymous donors who gave $228,000 for its purchase.

Movie-viewing at St. Helena’s Cameo Cinema has never been brighter, thanks to two anonymous donors who donated $228,000 for the purchase of a new Barco 4K Cinema Laser Projector.

The generous patrons, according to the theater’s press release, gave the funds to The Friends of the Cameo for the purpose of replacing the Cameo’s Dolby Digital 3K projector with the projector now considered the pinnacle of cinema projection technology.

According to the announcement, this new laser projector once again catapults the little cinema to the forefront of movie theater technology: only 100 Cineplex (multi-screen) theaters in the world have installed Barco’s flagship 4K Cinema Laser Projector.

But even more impressive is that the Cameo Cinema is the only single-screen theater in America to install this sought-after cinema technology.

The Cameo will be celebrating its 105th birthday in May, according to Cathy Buck, Cameo Cinema owner and creative director.

“What better birthday present could there be?” Buck said.

“This laser projector not only improves image quality, but delivers a ‘wow’ experience that captivates the audience,” she added. “We are thrilled to receive this wonderful gift and to join with other cinema pioneers in this new era of laser projection.”

In the press release Stacey Bressler, Friends of the Cameo Board president said, “We are so grateful and appreciative for this terrific opportunity made possible by these two very special individuals. The Cameo has always been committed to presenting films in the best possible quality and this award-winning laser cinema projector has been impressing moviegoers world-wide.”

The first film shown with the new projector was Black Panther, which was featured from March 30 to April 5.

The Cameo’s calendar of events can be viewed on the web at

The Cameo is located at 1340 Main St. in St. Helena.



Tom Stockwell is currently a staff writer for the St. Helena Star. He is an author of fiction and non-fiction books and has been a working journalist for a variety of technical publications as well as a consultant for numerous wineries in the Napa Valley.