U.S. movie theaters going digital

posted by HowardBHaas on January 16, 2008 at 9:45 am

Movie theaters nationwide are going digital in film projection.

By the end of 2005, there were fewer than 200 auditoriums equipped with digital-projection equipment in the United States. At the end of 2007, there were about 2,500, and by the end of this year, there’ll be at least double that number.

Among the leaders has been UltraStar Cinemas, the 102-screen San Diego County-based theater chain whose mantra is ‘'pure digital cinema.’‘ It operates seven local multiplexes and others in Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties.

Read the full article in the Union-Tribune.

Comments (13)

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on January 16, 2008 at 11:26 am

Much slower rollout than i would have thought.Years away from the country being all digital!

KenLayton on January 16, 2008 at 11:36 am

Those big screen tv’s are still too expensive for theaters to buy. It looks like you’re watching a soap opera on those things.

ceasar on January 16, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Digital Cinema is one the movie houses some my friends would like to see come here. But I have my doubts becouse of the slowing economy and the overprice real estate market here. The closet digital cinema is the Malco 17 in Madison.

KramSacul on January 17, 2008 at 12:17 pm

A soap opera? What the hell? lol

jimpiscitelli on January 19, 2008 at 8:24 pm

The only two all-digital cinemas in the Chicago area are the Century/Cinemark Stratford Square 16 in Bloomingdale, IL and the Muvico Rosemont in Rosemont, IL.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on January 24, 2008 at 10:37 pm


Giles on February 5, 2008 at 3:25 pm

I’ll believe it when I see it. Regal just installed a Digital 3D system at Gallery Place (for Beowulf) and they’ve only shown 3D features – nothing in standard DLP – what a joke… I still have to trek out over to Cinema De Lux to see other DLP ‘films’. National Amusement’s installed DLP units on the cineplex' largest screens and they’ve (generally) looked great. ‘Golden Compass’ though flickered throughout the entire feature. Regal needs to outfit their largest screens in the Washington DC area – Rockville’s small screen is a severly lacklustre. I’m still waiting for Landmark Bethesda to install a Sony 4K LCoS system at it’s cash cow location, there’s no reason why the newer Baltimore theatre can feature a digital system and not for Bethesda.

Giles on March 10, 2008 at 12:36 pm

word is that Steven Spielberg/Paramount will NOT release ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ in DLP but in 35mm only – interesting buck the trend release – how bout going true old school and striking a few 70mm blow up prints for the key select city markets ;)

markp on March 10, 2008 at 9:52 pm

As a union projectionist for almost 33 years, I may be old fashioned, and behind the times, but I just don’t see this whole digital thing taking off as fast as these big chains would like. With the economy tanking, we might see a repeat of years ago when Regal and AMC among others were in chapter 11. And lets not forget, when things get tough, and people cant eat, the first thing they cut out are resturants and movies. I’m also glad to read above from Giles that Indy 4 is going to be straight 35mm. Bravo Spielberg. And yes, I too would love to see 70mm back. Haven’t ran it since “The Abyss” in 1989.

Giles on March 31, 2008 at 1:34 pm

I thought James Cameron struck some 70mm/DTS prints of TITANIC

ceasar on August 25, 2008 at 10:13 am

This summer I had the oppertunity experince digital cinemas. First at the Rave Motion Picture stadium cinema,Destin,Florida. Just this weekend at the Malco 17 in Madison. I saw Wanted in Destin and the experince blew me away. The picture is sharp and clear. With sound u can even hear background sounds depending where u sit.
I saw the Dark Knight in digital picture with Digital Dolby sound.Like WANTED the experince was fantastic. I sat close to the front and Dolby digital is real quality sound. One thing the films didn’t break like some would with tradtional movie projectors. What gets me is that cinema operators are hostile still with with this new technology.

MPol on October 13, 2008 at 5:30 pm

I could be wrong, but I don’t think that most U. S. Theatres have gone Digital yet.

KenLayton on October 13, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Only a fraction of theaters have gone to video projection.

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