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Independent Local Movie Theaters Seeking Financial Help With Digital Conversion

By Rich Heldenfels Published: August 14, 2013

A couple of area venues are taking unconventional approaches to fundraising. The Canton Palace is using a crowdsourcing plan (see below) while Wadsworth's Blue Sky Drive In hopes to win a contest for digital gear. From the Blue Sky website:

We will face possible closure with the movie industry’s switch from film to digital. Film will no longer be available. We need your support to stay open. We have an opportunity to win new digital projection equipment donated by Honda and other supporters.  Please visit Project Drive-In here and vote for us.
You can vote once every 24 hrs, so vote daily. Voting ends September 9th.  Thank you!
You can also text your vote to "Vote53" (without quotes) to 444999.

The Palace, meanwhile, sent out the following:

The movie industry has mandated digital conversion to all theaters by December 31, 2013.  As such, the Canton Palace Theatre must covert from its current 35mm projection to digital cinema projection in order to continue to show films in its unparalleled atmosphere.  The Canton Palace Theatre currently features cutting edge independent, foreign and documentary films on Thursday evenings and popular, newer-release films on the weekends, in addition to its numerous family friendly film offerings throughout the year, such as the free First Friday Family Movies and the $1 Summer Kids Movies. Donations for the digital conversion are being accepted via until September 30, 2013. 

The cost of this complete digital conversion is $80,000.  This includes the purchase of the server needed to receive the film file, the projector to show the films from our projection booth, retrofitting the existing projection booth for the removal of the old equipment and the installation of the new equipment.

"We chose to raise funds for this project via crowdfunding to help expand our reach to film and historic theatre aficionados all across the country," explained Georgia Paxos, executive director of the Canton Palace Theatre Association.  "We have the chance to enhance our film offerings in crisp digital cinema, in downtown Canton, in our historic theatre," added Cathy Wyatt, president of the Canton Palace Theatre Association Board of Directors. 

I'll have more to say about this down the road.




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