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Transitioning to digital

Rochester, N.Y. Its do or die time for small movie theaters across the country. The move to digital is here and one local movie theater isnt sure itll survive the transition.

There are some things in life you dont want to change, the drive-in movie theater, thats one of them. But Paul Deal, the owner of Vintage Drive-In Theatre did change one thing, one very important thing; he changed his projectors from film to digital.

They do offer a high-quality, as far as picture, says Deal. Its brighter, the sound is more clear, things run a lot smoother.

Smooth would not be how Ben Tucker would describe the transition, not at Cinema Theater in Rochester.

We dont really have titles here, says Tucker. Its more of a mom and pop, or just a pop, organization.

The fact is letting go of film is not an option.

The studios arent going to give them to us, says Tucker.

That means theaters all across the country have to switch to digital and fast.

That the biggest problem is the expense, says Tucker.

A digital projector costs tens of thousands of dollars. Thats why Cinema Theater is fundraising online. Unlike a good movie, theres little question how this story will end if the money doesnt materialize.

I know we have patrons who enjoy coming here and the experience of, buying popcorn, seeing something on the big screen in the dark with strangers, the communal experience, says Tucker.

Other theaters in the area are planning on making the transition to digital. The Little plans to have a full digital system in place sometime this spring.

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Washington Times