Saturday, August 24, 2013

Drive In Movies In Danger Of Closing



A beloved drive in near you, may soon be closing. The movie industry's switch to digital projection may find your local drive in' or community theater struggling to come up with the funds necessary to cover the conversion. Costs can run anywhere from $60,000 and up per screen.
And time is running out. Hollywood is set to send out the last of 35mm prints this year.
Soon to be just a faded memory, are the days of film burn and horn honking as the projectionist slices and dices the film. The whole switch to digital is really a sad day in film history. Since 1834 until now every motion picture has been made on 35 mm film. The prospect of this ceasing is worrying. What happens to the old 35mm projectors after the switch is made? If the devices necessary to view 35mm suddenly disappear so does our film history.
And what about the 35mm projectionists? My great uncle was one of them. All his years of experience slicing film and threading it into the platter projection, how will that translate into working with hard drives or dealing with computer issues?
Is this what we have come to? So eager to be out with the old and in with the new, that we will risk losing our heritage? All the grass root efforts to save drive in theaters only to be hit by a new crisis. Forced to conform, pay up, or close.
Its not only impacting drive in's but all theaters. In particular the privately owned small ones. Another case of corporate bullying.
If we don't all get together and do something, all that we will see are the big multiplex corporate movie theaters left. And how much nostalgia do they have? How do they reflect movie history?
Fortunately there is one company that is trying to make a difference. Honda has launched a campaign called www.projectdrivein.com. Its goal is to raise funds for 5 theaters to get the digital projectors for free. They are doing this by a voting system. The voting began in early August and closes September 9.
Please follow the link to support this campaign and also get involved with your local drive in or historic theater to help fund raise.
We must do all we can to preserve our heritage.
I believe there should be more outrage against Hollywood for not embracing both 35mm and digital films. Forcing out 35mm is a drastic measure for the estimated 700 historic movie theaters across the USA.
I also would like to note this is a worldwide problem, as drive ins and theaters in other countries are faced with the same dilemma.
The videos below are one of many pleas from theaters needing your support.




                                





Rachel Davies Google+ August 25th, 2013

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Author: Rachel Davies

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