Reflections on the fate of the independent exhibitor
This piece from Digital Cinema Report looks at how the digital transition is affecting the small-town independent theater operator.
As the industry undergoes the most transformative revolution since the talkies, film perforations give way to binary digits. A relatively simple and competent 100-year-old technology surrenders to expensive computerized projection. There are clear benefits, to be sure, but exhibitors have been conflicted. Nowhere is the conflict more pronounced than among the small-town, few-screen operators who have anchored the movie industry in countless communities across North America. Independent theatre operators have been performing an essential and valuable service for the movie industry for generations, and they’ve been doing fine. The margins may not have been great, but these are people with a passion for showing movies, creating a culture of movie consumption, and becoming cultural bastions in their communities. That has been reward enough.