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TOPIC: Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner

Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 28 Sep 2012 20:33 #39284

  • rufusjack
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Too lazy to find the original post on this theater last April or so. This is the theater that won a prize from Reader's Digest.

Who cares if film is being run a some screen somewhere (which is what many of you have pondered). The more important question is when does a theater have trouble getting movies of film that they previously did not have problems with. BTW, this theater uses a very big booker in the Midwest who at one point was buying for over 400 screens.

Davis Theater-Higginsville, MO

Posted August 29th on their Facebook page:
WE ARE SO VERY SORRY:

BUT DUE TO THE MOVIE INDUSTRY’S ON-GOING DIGITAL CONVERSIONS, THE PROCESSING/ AVAILABILITY OF 35MM PRINTS IS BEING FELT BY THEATRES LIKE “THE DAVIS“. IT HAS BECOME INCREASINGLY HARDER TO OPEN A NEW FILM AND THE WAIT TIME FOR MOVIES THAT WE HAVE NOT OPENED HAS STRETCHED
ON FOR SEVERAL MORE WEEKS THAN “NORMAL“ FOR US. THIS, UNFORTUNATELY, WILL BECOME MORE THE ‘NORM’ FOR SMALL TOWN THEATRES LIKE OURS UNTIL 35MM PRINTS WILL CEASE TO BE MADE.

WE ARE HOPING TO RE-OPEN SEPTEMBER 20TH BUT NOTHING IS A ‘FOR SURE’. WE UNDERSTAND THAT WE ALL HAVE CHOICES BUT PLEASE KNOW THAT WE WILL NEED ALL THE HELP THIS COMMUNITY CAN MUSTER TO KEEP THE ‘DAVIS’ FROM BEING ANOTHER CASUALTY OF THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION.

WE ARE SO VERY SAD, BUT WE WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE, UNDERSTANDING AND, OF COURSE, YOUR PATRONAGE WHICH HAS SUSTAINED OUR COMMUNITY THEATRE FOR 14 YEARS. GEORGE, FRANI & STAFF

Posted Today:
It breaks our hearts but as of 9/28/12, the Davis Theatre 4 is officially closed. We will be checking into other alternatives and will try to keep you posted. Thanks for your patronage and friendship over the last 14 years. We will miss all of you!! George & Fran
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 28 Sep 2012 21:54 #39285

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I won't pretend to know the details of this theater's situation, but if they raised 40k so far, it seems like they'd be able to do something to stay open. A bank loan to convert a couple of screens at least. Hopefully they'll find a solution and open back up.
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 30 Sep 2012 19:02 #39300

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This is a story that will likely be repeated hundreds, maybe thousands of times over, as 35mm is phased out and the small town theatres that don't have enough sales to warrant the investment go dark.

If a 4 screen location can't get enough first run in 35mm to survive, it must be a very low grossing location or they are being cleared by a competitor. Second-run prints are getting harder and harder to bring in, especially in the more remote locations. Maybe a new operator will step in and make the investment to convert to digital.

This is just the beginning of the closings, just wait until all 35mm print runs are stopped completely by one or more major studios.


Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 04 Oct 2012 02:45 #39329

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Agreed.

In the last two years, we've experienced increasing difficulties getting prints off-the-break. No trouble with first-run, but we've decided it's time for us.

Our 35mm gear was officially retired on Sunday night (9/30). We'll open the 2013 season in digital.
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 04 Oct 2012 14:59 #39330

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not sure why you feel you need to go..... The availability of digital projectors that will be payed for by the VPF program are out there. I have quotes for a digital booth between 44 and 50K using a new Christie CP2210. meets all DCI requirements and can be used on screens up to 45 feet. The VPF progam will more than pay for this projector in less than 4 years if you do two new prints a month. A small theater will actually make money moving to digital. I signed up and have 12 months to deploy.
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 04 Oct 2012 16:46 #39332

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Wait till the lawsuits start when you can't get a print due to VPF.
Last Edit: 04 Oct 2012 16:48 by slapintheface.
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 05 Oct 2012 16:12 #39333

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wdposter wrote:
not sure why you feel you need to go..... The availability of digital projectors that will be payed for by the VPF program are out there. I have quotes for a digital booth between 44 and 50K using a new Christie CP2210. meets all DCI requirements and can be used on screens up to 45 feet. The VPF progam will more than pay for this projector in less than 4 years if you do two new prints a month. A small theater will actually make money moving to digital. I signed up and have 12 months to deploy.

You seem overly optimistic on the VPF program. I recommend reading this thread www.bigscreenbiz.com/index.php?option=co...9&id=38684&Itemid=75 and you will see the owner of this website is getting VPFs but is far more pessimistic to the point he is seeking over 50% of the conversion cost in donations.

I would be interested in seeing your calculations on how you make money on the conversion.
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 06 Oct 2012 23:49 #39336

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wdposter wrote:
The VPF progam will more than pay for this projector in less than 4 years if you do two new prints a month. A small theater will actually make money moving to digital. I signed up and have 12 months to deploy.

None of the VPF programs allow for overages. They create a pool of money based on eligible purchases (typically the projector, sever, pedestal, cabling, installation) and the VPF payments can't go over that cost. Also watch out as most VPF programs have a $60,000 per screen MINIMUM cost, meaning if you were getting quotes on $50k per screen, you will have to either go up in cost or you won't be able to receive payments.

Gotta read all those details!
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 07 Oct 2012 00:14 #39337

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"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 07 Oct 2012 16:50 #39339

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Look at the seats in above link ... Metal backs from the 50 s ???
That's one reason people don't go to old Theaters .
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 07 Oct 2012 19:29 #39343

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Slap, you know there is padding on those seats. I've always found them quite comfortable and I weigh well over 200 pounds. I don't agree that they would keep people out of a theatre.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 08 Oct 2012 01:01 #39347

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So Bob, do you want to change your opinion that film will be around for a while and that a new theater should start with film equipment to dip their toes in the theater water (forgot who said that)?
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 08 Oct 2012 01:14 #39348

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Bob , that's the mind set that has helped kill Indi theaters . To think the sophisticated movie goer would put up with seats like that in 2012.
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 08 Oct 2012 03:17 #39349

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I would not want to insult the fine people of Rugby, North Dakota where the Centre Cinema is located, but I'm not sure just how sophisticated they would classify themselves. Many rural Americans don't expect their small town businesses to be as fancy as those in the big city. They would appreciate it, but they understand the limits of their own economies.

I also don't know if it's fair to say that their older style seating is helping to put them out of business. Are those old seats the best? No. But considering that Rugby, ND has less than 3,000 people and the nearest competing theater is over 30 miles away in the town of Rolette (population 594), it is understandable that major upgrades like new seats would be difficult, and also why the locals who do enjoy a night at the movie theater are probably grateful to have what they've got. What I can see of the seats in the picture looks clean and neat. I can't see the cushions. We don't know if they have been reupholstered or what.

I know that I have personally paid more money to sit on a cold hard bleacher or stadium seat at a sporting event than I have to sit in a movie theater. Any padding at all is better than that. So, why do people keep going to the game... even when a professional event might be shown on TV? It's because of the fun and excitement of being there in person. If any theater stops providing that, or if something else does it better, then they are going to be in trouble.

Times have changed in Rugby, ND and all around the country. People often do not find a movie to be the fun and exciting experience it once was. Some of this might be blamed on the local theaters, but much is to blame on the changing times. I suppose in this way people are more "sophisticated", not because of their sensitive derrieres, but because of their entertainment preferences and their changing choice in how, where, and when it is delivered. A pirated copy watched on their I-Pad might be just what they were looking for. Or maybe it will be a legal copy from Redbox down the road.

My point here is why criticize a small town theater who may not have the means to upgrade? Even if they do upgrade, will it bring in that many more customers? I know some small town theaters do make upgrades to seating, projection, and everything else. But, when I read the article it's clear that attendance has been poor for a long time at the Centre Cinema. They probably don't have the means to upgrade the seats, much less the projection system. It sounds like anyone who believes differently will have the opportunity to buy it and make all those improvements and watch the money roll in.

If the residents of Rugby want a multiplex experience with nicer seats, they can probably drive about 67 miles to the Carmike 8-12 in Minot. Those with the sensitive derrieres and wrists too weak to hold a cup of soda without a cup-holder may already have been doing that. Somehow, I have a hard time believing the sturdy folks you find in places like Rugby, ND are likely to fit that description.
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Film Still Alive? Don't tell this theater's owner 08 Oct 2012 07:42 #39350

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Jack: No. Slap: What richard said.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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