A campaign to raise more than $3 million to pay for renovations of the century-plus-old Varsity Cinema received a boost this week when the Des Moines City Council approved a $149,808 grant for the project. The grant pushes the capital campaign past $1 million, according to the Des Moines Film Society, which last year bought the historic structure at 1207 25th St. Renovations to the Varsity, described as the Des Moines area’s oldest single-screen, independently owned movie house, include returning the structure to its original appearance and creating space for a micro-cinema on the second floor and more space on the first floor for gatherings before and after movies. The project has received donations from Bravo of Greater Des Moines, Invest DSM and the Meredith Foundation. February’s public kickoff of the capital campaign secured $120,000 in just five days. Des Moines Film is a nonprofit arts organization that plans to operate the rehabilitated Varsity Cinema as an art house theater and community resource, based on similar successful models in places like Iowa City and Omaha. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer. The group’s goal is to reopen the Varsity in early 2022.