Major Hollywood Studios behind major 3D digital rollout

posted by JodarMovieFan on October 3, 2008 at 8:45 am

According to a recent AP News article, five major Hollywood studios (Disney, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, LionsGate and Universal) are helping theaters with a $1Billion-plus rollout of converting many movie screens to show Digital 3D.

The article points out that the average cost of an install will be $70,000 and that they face financing obstacles in the fourth quarter, due to the now growing financing crisis that is hitting financial institutions.

Independent theaters are urging the group to not forget them and are requesting assistance with their screens.

The original article can be found by followingthis link.

Comments (17)

CinemarkFan
CinemarkFan on October 3, 2008 at 2:15 pm

And it costs about $35/40,000 or less to install 35/70MM projectors which could be adapted for 3D, yet Hollywood ignores this.

Is it just me or are they trying to erase the past, and let today’s teens that there’s such thing as giant 70MM projection (in theaters outside of IMAX), and nothing is better than digital?

danpetitpas
danpetitpas on October 3, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Well, it’s all about the dollars. The studios are basically going to cover the entire cost of the digital projectors, so they’ll be free. The theaters won’t need union projectionists. In fact, they won’t need anyone up in the booth. The projectors don’t go out of focus (usually). Most movies are about 200gb, so that means studios can send out a digital print on a $50 hard drive instead of a $1500 film print. Digital prints don’t scratch, get dirty or break (unless the hard drive or the projector crashes). And most audiences think digital is better. Plus, you can charge $5 more for a Miley Cyrus 3D concert or a sporting event, and $10 more for a Metropolitan Opera telecast!

That means that film might be relegated to art houses and independent theaters in just a few years.

markp
markp on October 3, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Well CinemarkFan, someone finally says the same thing I have for over a year now. I’ve been running 35MM for 33 years now, and up till the end of the 80’s, 70MM as well. I see nothing wrong with how things have been, but as you and danpetitpas point out, its all about the money, and putting the last of us union projectionists out on the streets. Time will tell if this digital thing will be the end-all-be-all. Some of us have our doubts.

markp
markp on October 4, 2008 at 3:15 am

The only problem danpetitpas is that the art and indys will have to convert as well. And even worse, some companies now say they will not replace 35MM prints of older movies that do reportory houses. If this thing catches on like they hope, there will be no trace of film anywhere ever again.

KenLayton
KenLayton on October 4, 2008 at 3:41 am

So they turn the movie-going experience into your living room experience. Might as well just stay home. At least at home you can mute the commercials.

Since they run tv commercials at the theater, then the admission should be free!

markp
markp on October 4, 2008 at 5:01 am

Here, here !!!!!!!

CinemarkFan
CinemarkFan on October 4, 2008 at 8:56 am

When I own theaters (God willing, my first will be next year), I will have 35/70MM projectors, backup DLP, and projectionists. I also want to start a 70MM film festival here in Chicago, and spread the word from there. I’m also in the process of contacting filmmakers to shoot their upcoming projects in 65MM for a 70MM DTS release in certain cities. We cannot let digital take over every damn thing.

Ken, is there any space for a new theater in the Seattle (Tacoma?) suburbs?

KenLayton
KenLayton on October 4, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Sorry, western Washington is way overbuilt now. Too many screens.

markp
markp on October 4, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Hey CinemarkFan, if you ever want to get into the Jersey market, the 2772 seat Ritz Theatre in Elizabeth, N.J. is for sale after a real estate mogul remodeled it. The arch opening is 50 feet. Can you imagine a 70MM film in a place like that. I can. I hope someone takes the place over, and maybe who knows…they might want a 50 year old union projectionist to run something like that.

markp
markp on October 4, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Forgot to mention, CinemarkFan, I like your choice of equipment. I ran Century JJ2 35/70MM projectors back in the 80’s and very early 90’s.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on October 5, 2008 at 9:40 am

Hey CinemarkFan… Salem/Portland, Oregon needs to give Regal a bit of competition!

CinemarkFan
CinemarkFan on October 5, 2008 at 10:05 am

Thanks for the cities. What I want to do now is start my operations here in the Chicago area, and expand from there. By 2013, I want to be in the cites mentioned, plus Westwood LA, Florida, etc… I want to bring showmanship back to the movies.

markp
markp on October 5, 2008 at 11:20 am

Showmanship…something I have been all about for all of my 33 years…taught to me by my father, an IA projectionist for over 55 years, before his passing 15 years ago. Hey CinemarkFan, if you ever need help here in Jersey, let me know. My projection booths have been known to be as clean as a hospital ward.

CinemarkFan
CinemarkFan on October 6, 2008 at 12:50 pm

The avrage digital screen looks like this
View link
View link

The screens audiences should aspire to are these

This screen gets even wider for 70MM View link

80ft wide – View link

View link
View link
View link

markp
markp on October 7, 2008 at 3:15 am

I have to give you an A++++ CinemarkFan, you really did your homework. If you could get a groundswell behind you, some of us old time union projectionists might actually enjoy running movies again, instead of being relagated to a sheetrock multiplex, as is the case these days.

CinemarkFan
CinemarkFan on October 7, 2008 at 6:34 am
Elimination of all 70mm, 35mm (theatrical) and 16mm (non-theatrical) prints for exhibition. Target date: 2012.

Can’t let that happen. We’ll protest worldwide if we must.

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