The effort to keep our small town theaters from going dark is an ongoing campaign with a portfolio approach. Over the coming months, our theaters will face their greatest challenge: raise the money to convert to digital, switch to an alternative model (independent distribution and exhibition) or close doors. At the Adirondack Film Society, our goal is to aid our independently owned theaters and provide the the opportunity to obtain as much of the economic development funds necessary to convert, but to also help shepherd them through a transition to alternative programming, if they so chose. Local fundraising will also play a key role.
The time is now for lobbying on behalf of our beloved local theaters, like the historic Palace, the Hollywood, the Strand in Old Forge, the Indian Lake Theater and many more. By learning about the facts of the situation, discussing, writing editorials, signing petitions, or just chatting about it around the cyber water-cooler, you help give our theaters a chance, and maintain the unique identity of our Adirondack Park.
Here are some links to recent articles about what’s going on. Petitions will be available online soon, as well as places for tax-exempt donations, and information about special programming coming to your neighborhood to help promote awareness and provide one-of-a-kind entertainment – the reason we love going to the movies in the first place.
“All along the Jersey Shore, as well as from Montauk to Martha’s Vineyard — indeed in just about any area in the country where mom-and-pop theaters still survive — old movie houses like the Strand are faced with a live-or-die proposition this Labor Day. In an already unsparing economy, and with entertainment rivals multiplying with every new tablet and flat screen, movie theaters are being asked to invest in costly digital projectors just to stay open.
According to recent industry statements, the major Hollywood studios are planning to complete the switch to digital by ceasing to release 35-millimeter film altogether; 20th Century Fox promises to phase out film by the end of next year, and the others are expected to follow. Which means that the analog projectors that have whirred along for decades will be suddenly rendered incapable of playing modern movies. For many seasonal theaters, the dog days of this summer may be the only days they have left.”—From “Resort Towns Face A Last Picture Show” by Eric Hynes in The New York Times.
“A digital projector capable of showing today’s special effects-laden 3D movies can cost between $70,000 and $100,000, something that Hayes simply cannot afford. “It would take me 25 years of all my ticket sales to cover that cost,” she said. “I don’t know if I can plan on being here that long.
“But unless theater owners make the switch to digital, they will find themselves with no new movies to screen, which would slam ticket sales and likely drive them out of business.
“We are in the middle of a technological revolution. There will be some fallout for a lot of small theater owners,” said , managing partner of Spectrum 8 Cinemas on Delaware Avenue in Albany.” —From “A Harsh, New Verite for Cinemas” by Brian Nearing of the Albany Times Union.