ALBANY — The state has allocated $400,000 for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council’s Digital Film Conversion Loan Fund.
The money will help small theaters in the North Country convert projection equipment to digital technologies.
The short-term loan fund will be administered by Development Authority of the North Country and will be an added resource for theaters, in addition to the community fundraising efforts already underway.
“Across the Adirondacks, movie theaters have been struggling to take on costly upgrade projects to stay in business,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press release.
“Faced with this reality, businesses and community leaders came together through the Regional Council initiative to create the Digital Film Conversion Loan Fund, which will help small-town cinemas in the North Country modernize their equipment and remain competitive.
“This is another example of how public-private partnerships are helping to promote economic growth in communities across the state.”
In June, the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, through Empire State Development, approved the reassignment of 2012 funds for a previously identified priority.
Those funds were redirected to support the “Go Digital or Go Dark” Campaign, an initiative of the Adirondack North Country Association and the Adirondack Film Society working together to ensure the future of movie theaters in small communities.
The Digital Film Conversion Loan Fund will help bridge the funding gap so theaters can convert to digital before 35mm film is no longer available.
As remaining funds are raised and upgrade projects are completed, the Development Authority will re-lend the funds to businesses across the region for startup or expansion projects.
In addition to the loan fund, the Adirondack Film Society and the Adirondack North Country Association have led community fundraising efforts to save 10 theaters in the region through its “Go Digital or Go Dark” campaign.