Mildred Pinott understands the importance of setting a good example. When the Picture House in Pelham kicked off its annual gala with $250,000 to go before meeting its fundraising goal of $500,000, Pinott turned to her husband, Eric Salmeron, and suggested that they get the ball rolling. On the spot, they announced that they’d give $100,000 in matching donations.
“Sometimes, to motivate people to act, you just have to step up yourself first,” says Pinott. Their plan worked, and by the end of the night, the Picture House had an additional $200,000 for its renovations.
Though not movie buffs in particular, Pinott and Salmeron have been supporters of the Picture House from its earliest days. (Salmeron is on the board.) “We see it as an incredible resource,” she says. “And not just for Pelham, but for people in the Bronx and in East Harlem, where I was born. That’s why we feel so strongly about it. Why shouldn’t Pelham be a hub for the arts?”
Renovations to the Picture House include not only improving the lobby, installing new seats, and upgrading the lighting and sound systems, but building a new two-story facility with a 98-seat theater and a film-education institute.