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Small Movie Theatres In Trouble – Pay For Expensive Digital Upgrades, Or Close

 Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Many smaller movie theatres are now face to face with something that has been in the works for quite sometime. As older technology grows obsolete, the technology and equipment these older, sometimes historic theatres, use isn’t fit for the digital age.

Movies are shipped to theatres on film, hut now it’s going all digital: small discs or zip drives, and some movies houses don’t have the ability to pay for the new gear they need to read and project digital equipment, says Chris Anderson of Valley Cinema in Little Falls

Why can’t the movies just be put on a DVD and played?

”I think it’s more the distributors who want to have a better hold on everything. If they did that, then anyone could just open a theatre and run DVDs…you just open a warehouse or something.”

What’s the difference

Anderson says some will argue there is no difference between film and digital, others think there is a very noticeable improvement in video and audio.

”I look at it day in and day out. I don’t think [digital] is any better picture quality, and they say the digital equipment that they’re running now has a shorter shelf life – 7 to 10 years,” he said.

How much will an upgrade cost

”My guy is telling me he can do the upgrades for $50,000 each”, said Anderson, who has two threatres.

Anderson says when distributing movies to theatres, studios say the average cost put a movie on film can range from $2,000 to 4,000 each. The new technology costs $5 for each movie, he said.

Anderson says several area cinemas are planning to hold fundraisers to pay for the upgrades.

Anderson joins WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning:

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