The growing scarcity of quality 35 mm prints for classic film screenings
A theatre I am involved with has been finding it harder to get quality prints of classic films of late. We book a movie in our schedule. Then we advertise only to find that the print the vendor/source thought they had is damaged, or non-existent.
Have others found this to be the case? Have any other theatres set up arrangements with print collectors? It just seems as though there isn’t enough money in most retro films these days for the distributors to keep quality prints available.
The whole collector thing is a two-sided sword. They preserve product that the studio/distributor loses (financial) interest in, but they keep the product to themselves. And what is art (and our financial vehicle to produce income) is a collectible, and there is the collector’s mindset to have more all the time. I have seen a screening of a pristine 35mm copy of “Fantasia” that I’m sure “fell off of the truck” somewhere.
What are other retro cinemas doing for quality product? Going over to Digital projection?