Switch to digital may hurt small cinemas
Sat, 27 Oct 2012 6:10p.m.
By Tom McRae
It's being dubbed the biggest change in cinema history since movies went from silent to talkies.
But the change from 35mm film to digital is expensive, and could spell the end for some local cinemas.
Many were in fine form celebrating Devonport's Victoria Theatre's 100th birthday today.
The Southern Hemisphere's oldest purpose-built cinema has had its fair share of ups and downs over the decades. But it now faces another challenge – going digital.
“The initial cost is enormous, but coupled with that is falling audiences because you can go any buy an 80in plasma screen HD and watch all your movies at home,” says Victoria Theatre manager Robin Kewell.
Movies have always been released on 35mm film. But from the end of next year, film and the projectionists will be a thing of the past.
The Victoria Theatre is just one of more than 50 independent cinemas in New Zealand that have to make the digital changeover. But that comes at a huge cost – more than $100,000 for each new projector.
Bridgeway Cinema in Northcote has already upgraded one of its theatres.
“Digital screens have better quality,” says Kelly Rogers of Bridgeway Cinema. “It sounds great and it's really high resolution.”
But some smaller cinemas around the country will struggle to afford it.
“When you have to go and find a lot of capital expenditure that you didn't think you had to, it's going to be hard for some of the smaller ones,” says Ms Rogers.
Many have started fundraising.
“It may only be a cinema but it's part of the urban fabric of Devonport and it's revitalised the area, so there are a lot of benefits to having it open,” says Mark Sigglekow of the Victoria Theatre Trust.
So the old Vic’ is embracing the new technology. But like most small cinemas, it just needs help paying for it.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
28/10/2012 2:59:22 p.m.
The pixels at the Bridgeway are the size of my face. And I've got a big face.
28/10/2012 9:23:34 a.m.
i cant understand how movie cinemas make a penny today .
A multi-million-dollar dispute involving one of the country'...
Mighty River Power shares have been floating around the $2.5...
There is encouraging news for the tourism industry today as ...
John Banks is calling for an inquiry into Zespri, after a Ch...
Around a dozen protesters picketed in front of a Wellington ...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.