Helping struggling mom-and-pop theaters with digital conversion

Big-name Hollywood mobsters team up in Miami Beach to help struggling mom-and-pop theaters - The Washington Post: " . . . . Owners of small cinemas across the country must switch from 35 mm film to digital — or go silent. The conversion requires new projection equipment, computers and a sound system that can average around $70,000 per screen. . . . About 67 percent of the nation’s 5,750 theaters have switched to all-digital equipment, said Patrick Corcoran, a spokesman for the National Association of Theater Owners. But while the big chains can afford the digital transition, smaller theaters are forced to open a bank loan or turn to the community for help with paying for the equipment. Others hand over the keys to not-for-profits in the hopes of saving the town’s main attraction. Shaw said about 60 cinemas have reached out to him for help and he has committed to saving at least 400 theaters. It is not known how many small-town theaters have closed down since the switch to digital began with the 1999 release of “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” But for Cinema Saver, which needs $200,000 to convert the five auditoriums in its one location, the new equipment with the help from Save America’s Cinemas is a good start. . . . . "

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