Press-Republican

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September 3, 2013

Digital progress at movie theaters

(Continued)

SARANAC LAKE —

“This whole process has resulted in new partnerships emerging and people coming together,” Hart said.

DARK DEADLINE

But the deadline for the digital switch is coming. Movies will no longer be available in 35-millimeter prints. And big movie companies have set various deadlines for digital access.

“Some have just limited the number of film prints they have put out. But really, overall, we’re looking at the end of the year being critical,” Hart said.

“The Council on the Arts grant cycle deadline was Aug. 12. We met that, and we probably won’t hear about funding awards until December. Once we hear back, it will move fairly quickly.”

SMALLER SCREENS

Meantime, the Palace Theater in Lake Placid has installed one digital projector in its four showing rooms. One of the screens is in a fairly small room, Hart said.

“They are taking a phased-in approach. One of the recent developments in this process is that the costs have come down quite a bit for small theaters.

“(North Country Association) hired an independent consultant to do an evaluation for four of the movie theaters with the idea that the technology has been evolving over the past year.”

ANCA found that for smaller movie screens, there really weren’t digital projector models of proper size available.

“They have now created projectors for smaller theaters,” Hart said.

And it brought the equipment cost down significantly. It did not change the cost of wiring or projector booth renovation.

Schroon Lake’s digital investment was set at $60,000 originally, Hart relayed.

“The revised bid for a smaller projector came in at $38,000. Lake Placid’s Palace Theater conversion is set to cost about $150,000 for the three remaining screens.”

The Lake Placid Center for the Arts is pairing with the Palace to host a fundraiser on Thursday, Sept. 19.

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