After nearly 100 years of showing 35mm motion picture film in movie theaters, the film industry is now undergoing a mammoth change to a new format. Studios and distributors are now making the switch to DCP, or Digital Cinema Package, a file format that is screened at theaters via a high end digital projector and server. Movie theaters need to invest up to $100,000 per screen to convert to this new systerm. Up to 60% of U.S. movie theaters have reportedly already made the conversion, with the bulk of those being larger corporate multiplex theaters. The remaining 40% includes many of the smaller historic neighborhood cinemas across the country that can’t afford the high cost of the switch, a good number of which have already been forced to close their doors forever.
The Hollywood Theater is part of this 40% and faces the biggest challenge of its 90-some year history. Several studios have already told the Hollywood that it must show their films on DCP or not show them at all, and we expect that the majority of studios will follow suit in 2014 and the Hollywood will have nothing left to show. The theater must raise $75,000 to install the new projection system this year. The Hollywood must go digital or go dark.
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