Several small movie theaters around the region - and the nation, we expect - are having a bit of sticker shock over the conversion to digital. Movie companies are tracing toward the day when they no longer have to make and ship large reels of film to theaters - a cumbersome and expensive process that yields an inferior product on the screen. Digital movies have better picture quality and sound and do not degrade with repeated showings.
But converting to a digital projector - which can show movies from a disk or from a satellite download - can cost up to $75,000. That's not chump change for a small hometown theater. Some theaters are trying to hold fundraisers and others are scrambling for grants and loans.
But all industries change, and all businesses must reinvest in capital projects.
Movie fans can expect clear movies when the conversions are complete - and higher ticket prices.
- Grove Potter