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TOPIC: Digital system

Digital system 27 Sep 2007 22:33 #22573

  • dickson73
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I am new and I am reopening an old theater. I see the words print used a lot. I want this theater to be digital, I have the backing (capital, digital or lcd/dlp projectors are what I am looking at.
question !

1. Do you have recommendations?
2. Do prints come on DVD or some other digital format? (we will be a second-run theater)
3. recommendations for cheap seats?
recommendations for concessions company: Candy, Soda, etc...

We are in Florence, SC

thanks William
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Re: Digital system 28 Sep 2007 01:19 #22574

  • BurneyFalls
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If I were you I would think about joining NATO and become a member of their buying group. Get a copy of the latest BoxOffice Magazine and read the two articles on digital projection in that. Then decide if now is the time to really go digital.

Check the acrhives and directory for seat and concession supply recommendations. I guess NATO's buying group also sells candy, but I have never checked on their pricing.
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Re: Digital system 28 Sep 2007 08:46 #22575

  • slapintheface
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If you want digital you should go to ShowEast oct 15th -18th and see all the companys there.........
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Re: Digital system 28 Sep 2007 09:25 #22576

  • lionheart
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Seems kind of interesting that you seem to kind of lump "digital" with "lcd/dlp projectors". As you start reading more, you will soon learn that when a theater advertises digital projection, they are not using a DVD player and an lcd/dlp projector. There are a few theaters around the country that do use DVD's with some kind of video projection, but they are at the opposite end of the spectrum in cost from the the digital projection systems advertised as being used at major theaters. The last time I saw someone discuss the price of a digital projection system on this forum, seems to me they were hoping the price would fall soon to around $62,000. Then there is all the rest of the equipment and facilities you need. So, digital projectors aren't usually for the low cost startup. If you truly have the capital, then maybe you won't mind the high price tags. Just make sure your business plan is feasible. Otherwise, you will make a small fortune from a large one.

If you decide to use the lower cost projectors with a DVD player, you will be faced with several challenges. New releases are usually not available on DVD, except in the cases of some small independent films. You said you want to be 2nd run, but even 2nd run films are not normally available on DVD. The few theaters who do this kind of thing are normally playing stuff that's been out for a long time and already released on DVD to the public. They are often revivals of classic films. Some use these to supplement their film line-up and don't rely on them for all their business. The ones I remember that rely completely on DVD projection are normally more like a cinema cafe or cine-pub.

The reason high dollar projection systems are needed to do the digital presentation you hear about is that the image quality has to be far superior to a DVD. DVD projection is better left to smaller screens, although some might argue they may be passable for a medium sized screen. Still, they will not likely be nearly as clear a picture as film projectors will put out. If I remember right, the high dollar systems use either satellite download or they ship special hard drives. It would take many, many DVD's to hold the same amount of data.

Oh, one more thing about playing movies from DVD. Don't forget you still have to make arrangements with film distributors to play them and then give them a percentage of sales or possibly a flat fee. It's agaist the law to play them otherwise, unless they are public domain. Most public domain films are moldy oldies that would draw little interest, although some are good movies. Those good public domain movies are probably available for $1 from the local bargain store, so anybody who likes that kind of thing already has them at home. If people would come to the theater to see them, it will be because of the experience you can provide and not the movie. Will your cheap seats and associated decor provide a great experience? Will you be serving great food, or just run of the mill snacks? If great food, then can you compete with other restaurants in the area? Will you have table service? Then your business will be a restaurant more than a movie theater.

I point out all these things because I've investigated all this stuff for myself over the past few years.

My advice is to go with film if you can. If you can't, then you need to rethink those cheap seats, and all the business plan that goes with them.
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Re: Digital system 28 Sep 2007 13:47 #22577

  • Avco
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The cheapest high output projector will cost at least $40,000 and up. The costs of digital projection equipment changes very fast. Those little presentation projectors only work for presentations at best or home. Digital movies come in hard drive forms and in some cases special dvds. This stuff is all High ticket equipment in cost.

And it all depends on how big the theatre and screen is for what would be the best projection system you need.

[This message has been edited by Avco (edited September 28, 2007).]
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Re: Digital system 21 Oct 2007 09:04 #22578

  • slapintheface
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After going to SHOWEAST i have made up my mind 1-2 years before any digital goes in my theater..I had reps tell me to wait as the machines will be outdated in a few years.....
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Re: Digital system 21 Oct 2007 13:23 #22579

  • Mike Spaeth
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We hope to be converted by the end of 2008. Digital is here to stay.
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Re: Digital system 21 Oct 2007 20:38 #22580

  • rodeojack
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We hope to be converted by the end of 2008.

Out of curiosity... why?

So far, given the volitility of the industry... equipment still under development, pricing uncertainties, and a list too long to mention (but reflective of my cynical nature), what benefit(s) would you derive by converting at this point... other than possibly some convenience in not having to handle/move/build film?

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited October 21, 2007).]
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Re: Digital system 22 Oct 2007 02:25 #22581

  • Mike Spaeth
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[This message has been edited by Mike Spaeth (edited October 22, 2007).]
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Re: Digital system 22 Oct 2007 02:27 #22582

  • Mike Spaeth
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There are only a finite number of VPF's negotiated with the studios per the DCI - wait until the end - possibly lose financing.
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Re: Digital system 22 Oct 2007 17:17 #22583

  • reelman
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So under that line of logic, Regal(for instance) would not receive VPF fees for a new all-digital cinema that was constructed 10 years from now and they would be forced to fund the theatre themselves?

Probably makes more sense that way as the price on these digital units have dropped from $150,000 2 years ago to $40,000-50,000 for the latest Barco projector. 10 years from now,an exhibitor won't need these "financers" with their stranglehold contracts. The digital units will have come down in price to what 35mm is today.

Now is not the time for the little guy to invest in digital. Let the big boys blow their money and be the guinea pigs. I'll wait it out a few years.
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