Digital Film switch could signal end of historic movie theaters
posted by Michael Zoldessy on February 20, 2012 at 9:48 am
BUFFALO, NY — With us quickly approaching a time when studios will supposedly stop making film prints available, the Huffington Post looks at the effects on historic theaters. They focus on local gems such as the Palace and the Riviera and their struggles in making the conversion.
(Thanks to alknoblach for providing the photo.)
crying shame Film has to go, a real movie to me comes in a beat up film can,people.
Well what the article doesn’t mention is in many of these venues digital media has replaced film for archival screenings – to the credit of Ed Summers who is quote in the article the Buffalo International Film Festival did screen a film print at the North Park, and our alternative spaces (Squeaky Wheel and Hallwalls) in Buffalo are capable of 16MM, however more often then not, when you see a “classic” film presented at the Market Arcade for the legendary Buffalo Film Seminars and their new program Midnight Beacon, its projected digitally. I’m not sure where the disconnect is in the distribution chain but there will always be some screenings rooms in Buffalo that will be capable of 35MM along with digital even after a full DCI conversion (at least the CFA Screening Room I teach in at UB is ready for 16, 35 and digital – – I’ve shown 16MM when I can, but our department doesn’t own any 35MM)
There must be a sponsored fund that pays out to anyone who will write an article about how “The Sky Is Falling!” for theatres that have not yet converted to digital.
The writing was on the wall about digital cinema several years ago, and every theatre still open today that was open then has had the same amount of time to prepare for the inevitable.
I understand a Blu Ray is about equivalent to 16mm, but not to 35mm and that it takes at least 4 k to be ballpark equivalent (and sometimes not as nice) as 35mm. So theatrical presentations from Blu Ray or DVD discs aren’t the same quality & resolution as film!
Most of the Buffalo Film Seminars at Market Arcade are shown on Blu Ray DVDs, not sure about the projector quality – its passable if not a bit wimpy on what is a pretty big size General Cinema circa late 80s screen (the theatre seats about 300). Most of the time they are screening a high quality Criterion Blu Ray (of coarse prints that weren’t properly cared for will have their own issues, but I agree the magic is gone). They occasionally show film prints (as was the case a few semesters ago with A Women Under the Influence) – fortunately Buffalo is sandwiched between two great film cities where film projectors will never be ripped out of the reparatory houses – Rochester (with the Dryden) and Toronto (with TIFF Bell Lightbox).