Pressure on exhibitors to go digital increases; financing, filmprint availability decreases
LOS ANGELES, CA — As reported earlier smaller theater chains and independent operators are finding it difficult to make the change to digital projection if they want to keep showing first run films. Even with financing provided by the major studios, the cost to some operators is prohibitively expensive. Making the situation worse, this special financing is reportedly only going to be available for about another year and a half or so and securing prints of first run films is getting harder as studios are cutting back on ordering print copies. Some within the industry are predicting that print availability will esentially cease in the U.S. by the end of 2013.
“Simply put, if you don’t make the decision to get on the digital train soon, you will be making the decision to get out of the business,” Fithian told attendees. “That would be tragic because digital cinema and 3-D have so much to offer.”
Overseas, theater operators also are rapidly converting to digital, although studios are expected to continue shipping film prints to some smaller countries for the foreseeable future.
There is more in the Los Angeles Times.