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TOPIC: a digital dream

Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 13:32 #16730

  • Transit Drive in
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by slapintheface:
<B>First let me say my theaters are all 35mm film and will be for the next 12 to 24 months.By then my theaters will HAVE to be DIGITAL OR I WILL SOON BE OUT OF BSNS..I am not going for any grants i will buy them myself ..
How can any one think film will be around in 10 years ..Look at the camera bsns you cant even find stores that still sell 35mm camaras,all digital.....</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


If you are an independent theatre operator and are certain that you want to install digital projection within the next 2-3 years, your best option is to join the CBG-NATO and take advantage of their negotiating strength. If you think you can negotiate an equal or better agreement than a 6,000+ screen buying cooperative, you will be making a very big, irreversible mistake.

The only rational reason I can think of for any independent theatre owner to not be a CBG member, is that you do not plan on switching to digital projection, ever, and are planning to shut down when 35mm becomes obsolete.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 13:32 #16731

  • Narrow Gauge
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The speed at which the digital rollout occurs depends greatly on third party companies such as AccessIT. I have made the statement that at Showeast I was told AccessIT was losing large amounts of money. The credibility of this statement and my contact was questioned. The financial health of AccessIt and the digital rollout are linked. All of this impacts the small independent cinema contemplating the transition to digital-when is the right time to make a deal etc.
From Business Week and the AcessIt official site: AcessIT Posted these fiscal year end numbers:
2004: 4.8 million net loss
2005: 6.8 million net loss
2006: 17.12 million net loss
2007: 26.0 million net loss

First quarter fiscal year 2008: 6.8 million net loss. Total losses for 4.25 years is now 61.50 million. The stock is now down nearly 60% from earlier in the year.

I think the combination of increasing losses year by year coupled with a falling stock price speak for themselves.
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 14:11 #16732

  • Mike
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Are we talking about acess it or digital cinema because I am not looking at their model as if that is it and if it fails it's all over and if they succeed it's the bee's knees. I am talking about digital cinema as a mechanical reality and we can debate how or what but the digi-train has left the station. Will it be delayed? Arrive when? Include who on what day? I do not know. But happening as we speak.... Is there anyone who thinks differently?

And would you try answering my original question: will a digital system make it easier for smaller house to get "prints" and will there be more wide releases and is that good for the smaller houses?

Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 15:31 #16733

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mike:
<B>And would you try answering my original question: will a digital system make it easier for smaller house to get "prints" and will there be more wide releases and is that good for the smaller houses?

</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The simple answer is "probably not." The studios will still be forced to pay a VPF for digital prints for at least 10 years after you install the equipment.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 15:48 #16734

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Narrow Gauge:
<B> The speed at which the digital rollout occurs depends greatly on third party companies such as AccessIT. I have made the statement that at Showeast I was told AccessIT was losing large amounts of money. The credibility of this statement and my contact was questioned. The financial health of AccessIt and the digital rollout are linked. All of this impacts the small independent cinema contemplating the transition to digital-when is the right time to make a deal etc.
From Business Week and the AcessIt official site: AcessIT Posted these fiscal year end numbers:
2004: 4.8 million net loss
2005: 6.8 million net loss
2006: 17.12 million net loss
2007: 26.0 million net loss

First quarter fiscal year 2008: 6.8 million net loss. Total losses for 4.25 years is now 61.50 million. The stock is now down nearly 60% from earlier in the year.

I think the combination of increasing losses year by year coupled with a falling stock price speak for themselves. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

What part of "start up company" or "initial investment overhead" do you not understand.

Look at the business model. Access/IT pays for the equipment. Access/IT installs the equipment. Theatre owner pays a fraction of the cost up front, plus residual fees per each print booking and an annual maintenance fee.

The start-up costs for digital projection are staggering, and are being absorbed almost entirely by Access/IT. The studios are paying a long-term Virtual Print Fee(VPF)for everytime Access/IT delivers a Digital Cinema Print (DCP). Access/IT is just completing their original deployment of 4,000 screens, at which point their major investment will be capped off, and they will begin receiving ongoing payments from both the studios and exhibitors.

Would you expect a movie budgeted at $150 million to show a profit before it is released into theatres? They haven't even wrapped on their shooting schedule yet.

In order to accomplish anything big, you have to think big. Thinking small, or short term, didn't get the Golden Gate Bridge built. I wonder if the Golden Gate Bridge turned a profit for the State of California before it was even completed?

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 17:46 #16735

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New 52 week low of 4.60 per share, evidently wallstreet doesn't understand start up costs either. If the future projections were really solid this stock would be going up not down. If all the numbers were positive for this company it would not have lost 60 per cent of its share value this year.


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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 21:52 #16736

There is a rather new theater in Lousiville, KY, that is sitting full of digital projectors that are sitting idle due to complications in losing to many shows.

I don't think we will be waiting 10 years. I can see the end of film in 5 years or less. The problems will be worked out over the next 24 months in my opinion.

I think your local tech will be installing your new digital equipment, some are already doing digital installs. Your local tech has to move on and upgrade his skills to digital or he has to go out of business and I can't see them giving up a very lucritive career that fast! At least, we had better hope they upgrade thier skills or companies like Access It will drain your wallet.

Digital is going to get so easy that the only difference between the home projector and the one you use will be the fact that you will be an exclusive vendor to the movie studios.

Why would I say that, Reelman has a $7500.00 digital preshow projector that simply blows my mind with qualtiy and ease of use. This stuff will get easier and easier to use and probably maintain or it won't happend at all.

Someone has to control the costs and there is no way any company can throw money at this beast for all time to come. I think the price is on its way down, reliabilty will be on its way up!
Steve Wilson
Holiday Drive-In Theatre
Mitchell, Indiana
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 22:45 #16737

  • rdetzler
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10 years minimum. I have no reason to leave, neither do the other small operators here. Still no explanation of a business model as it affects my pocketbook, just some 30,000 foot nonsense that I hear everyday from people pitching technology that is not ready for the light of day.

You will have wasted tens thousands of dollars in early adoption money. If I ever do need the stuff, years and years from now, I can write a check for less than the cost of my HDTV to get a setup.

D-Cinema offers promise but it can also be the end of the theater as we know it. Keep raising prices to keep paying for the next generation and in a couple of generations you will be gone. There is NO quantum level of difference between 35mm and Digital, improvement yes but nothing worth the money.

Look around you, its not movies keeping movie theaters alive anymore. Its advertising, integrated restaurants, video games, sports broadcasting, etc. I will leave cinema before Digital becomes a reailty. I have a big stage, a liquor license and 250K of pro audio for live entertainment. I'll play as long as the Brenkerts run. (I have 20 of them).

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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 23:03 #16738

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BTW, how long is it going to take you to get a service tech in to fix that rig when you get bit in the ass by that 99.3% uptime rating. And what do you have to pay him when and if he shows up? I dont depend on Service Level Agreements to get my shows on screen. Any good theater owner that I know, can field strip their projectors with a flash light between their teeth and a Leatherman. I can personally strip my Brenkerts and change a Phenolic gear in between a matinée and the evening show and that includes an oil change and retiming the shutters. And yes I still run carbon on projector 1, nothing in the world does the old B&W better. I buy Brenkerts at $100 a head, if anyone out there has any give me a shout. I also sell parts for them if you ever have a desperate need.
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 23:37 #16739

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I think your missing the point,it does not matter how good you are with 35mm or its a better picture...35mm is dead in 10 years or less!

RIP
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Re: a digital dream 29 Oct 2007 23:50 #16740

  • Ken Layton
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How can 35mm be dead? Look at all the small theaters all over the world still operating 35mm. Many of these small out-of-the-way theaters in foreign countries are on shoestring budgets and could never afford video projection equipment in their theaters. Many times these small theaters are the only theaters (and only entertainment) for miles. I don't see 35mm disappearing. I still run 16mm showings in the parks and sometimes in theaters. 16mm ain't dead either!

I've rebuilt at least 30 Bell & Howell 16mm projectors over the past two years.
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Re: a digital dream 30 Oct 2007 00:05 #16741

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ken Layton:
<B>How can 35mm be dead? Look at all the small theaters all over the world still operating 35mm. Many of these small out-of-the-way theaters in foreign countries are on shoestring budgets and could never afford video projection equipment in their theaters. Many times these small theaters are the only theaters (and only entertainment) for miles. I don't see 35mm disappearing. I still run 16mm showings in the parks and sometimes in theaters. 16mm ain't dead either!

I've rebuilt at least 30 Bell & Howell 16mm projectors over the past two years.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Can you obtain first-run movies on 16mm? My guess is no. When studios stop supporting their first-run releases on 35mm in favor of all digital releasing, 35mm will be a dead format in theatres. You can make the equipment run for 1,000 more years, but if you can't bring in new content you aren't selling very many tickets. I wonder how many five figure grosses (per weekend) those 16mm projectors have produced. My guess would be none recently.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re: a digital dream 30 Oct 2007 08:10 #16742

Its just a matter of time before the old companies that make everything from platters to projectors stop making parts. They already are not selling much of any new hardware due to the near change over to digital.

I saw this in the Photoraphy business. All those companies that used to make medium format cameras worldwide are no longer in business! That will be the same for Potts and many others. Time is ticking!
Steve Wilson
Holiday Drive-In Theatre
Mitchell, Indiana
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Re: a digital dream 30 Oct 2007 13:26 #16743

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There is an even bigger picture at work, are theaters relevant in 10 years? be it 35mm or Digital. I am in the movie biz yes, but I am also in other aspects of the entertainment biz and its important to step back and see where the trends are. I dont see D-Cinema as inevitable because I think its higher operating and maintenance costs combined with the rapid obsolescence cycle of electronics will trigger another wave of ticket price increases that will finally push tickets above the average cost of a DVD. There are other forces at work here too, higher insurance, utilities, etc. As I have said in prior posts, I doubt that many of us today are paying every month to keep our projectors in the booth, serviced and up to date. But that is the future and its not rosy. Can we compete when operating costs force our prices to $12-15 a ticket and DVDs are selling at Walmart a few weeks after opening night for $9.95 and 80" Hi Def TVs cost $4995.

I work in IT, I love technology. I have high end digital projectors in my theater doing ad work, some at home on the walls, own 6 HDTV sets and 2 DVRs. But I truly see D-Cinema not as the next-big-thing but the last big thing. We need to be thinking about how to create a n overall better experience for a larger audience instead charging more to a shrinking audience. I give tours of my place to the first few kids that show up for the show. There eyes bug out when they see those old Brenkerts and the big reels of film, and the spark from the Carbon Arc. It makes it a wonderful, unique experience for them. It wouldnt be the same to show them how I slide a DVD into a drawer and press Play, like their Mom and Dad do at home.

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Re: a digital dream 13 Nov 2007 02:19 #16744

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Well, here, finally are the comments from one of those dealers "that will be out of business when 35mm is gone."

It doesn't really matter whether the up time is 99.3% or not. Digital will be a reality for all of us sooner or later, so we all have to address the topic and become proactive. Fact: digital gear is technologically more complicated than 35mm. Just like newer cars, the owner can't fix as much as he used to - so the one lost show while you change out a GR-8 gear is a thing of the past. If the problem is difficult, you're down until an engineer arrives.

Some things are the same - rectifier, igniter, xenon bulb, reflector, lens, douser, exhaust fan, but beyond that you're dealing with electronics & software. Might I add, electronics and software that are constantly going through revisions. This is going to be a problem - already has for the early adopters. Two year old projectors are now going through firmware and hardware upgrades to be compatible with 3D - for example. Replacing a blown rectifier might require firmware upgrades. Digital is certainly not a piece of cake, nor does it solve all your presentation problems. However, i'm all for the change, and we are constantly learning and training for this new technology.

Digital has often been sold as the saviour of the biz, but it may in fact be the death of it for many. We're used to buying used projectors that outlast the building. We now enter an age with frequent upgrades and equipment change out. (how old is your computer?) Those that are lucky enough to get a decent VPF deal are covered for the length of the contract, if they can hack the overpriced service contracts. The real and long term answer is fairly priced gear that you own and control the service on. That day is coming sooner than you might think. So make your best deal with an integrator, or hang on and plan to buy the gear when you have to. Even those who go the integrator route will have to buy their gear eventually, since it's owned by the intergrator throughout the term of the contract.

For the record, we completed 10 multiplex projects in 2007 - one of them with D-Cinema equipment. We have another 10 projects on the books for 2008 - one of them with 35mm equipment. The pendulum has swung.
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