September 3, 2013

Digital progress at movie theaters

SARANAC LAKE — With the State Theatre in Tupper Lake’s recent success in moving to digital-movie access, others are still waiting in the wings.

At the Adirondack North Country Association, communications specialist Melissa Hart relayed marked progress on two fronts.

Communities have stepped up to help save their theaters, and the price of projection equipment is coming down for small movie houses.

The North Country Association launched its Go Digital or Go Dark campaign in conjunction with the Adirondack Film Society earlier this year.

“Of the 10 theaters we were supporting, three have now met their fundraising goals and gone digital: the State Theater in Tupper Lake, the Indian Lake Theater and the Glen Drive-in in Queensbury,” Hart said.

The Ogdensburg Theater closed for several reasons, she said.

“That leaves us with six theaters still actively in fundraising: the year-round theaters are the Palace Theater in Lake Placid, the Strand Theater in Old Forge and Cinematek in South Glens Falls.”

Seasonal theaters include the Hollywood in AuSable Forks and the Strand in Schroon Lake.

The Strand Theatre in Plattsburgh, which is still being developed, is also involved.


North Country Association has worked with partners for each venue, helping forge a series of dynamic relationships to support or enhance film options for each theater’s audio/visual programming.

“We just recently applied for three grants through the state Council of the Arts, which has a pool of money allocated specifically for digital programming. Each one of those grant applications was really unique.

“The Strand Theater in Plattsburgh is not currently equipped for movies,” Hart explained. “The grant would allow them to achieve that goal, giving them additional tools to put the programming in place for movies and expand for alternative programming using the projectors.”

Adirondack Film Society has been working with the theater in Schroon Lake to expand the Lake Placid Film Festival, developing a southern venue for film showings and roundtable discussion.

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