Indie theaters in UK struggle to meet the digital challenge

posted by CSWalczak on May 25, 2010 at 7:45 am

LONDON, ENGLAND — Like many of their North American counterparts, independent cinemas in the UK are grappling with the seemingly relentless pressure by Hollywood to go digital. The expense of conversion may force a number of cinemas, especially in smaller towns, out of business, though the government is accelerating efforts to provide conversion assistance.

“We are financially stretched,” said its manager, Gregory Lynn. “So many indie cinemas like us cannot afford to go digital, but we don’t really have a choice.”

The movie house is among thousands of small cinemas — mostly in Europe — in danger of going bust unless they make the switch. The conversion costs may leave some small towns with no theaters, and fewer venues to screen movies may result in the shrinking of the European film industry, already concerned about the cultural dominance of Hollywood.

Read the full story in Business Week.

Comments (1)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 25, 2010 at 5:02 pm

The UK was one of the few countries to offer financial arrangements to cinemas whereby lottery funds paid for the projectors in exchange for showing a quota of “specialty films”. Most independents didn’t even bother to apply.

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