The future of a historical, small town movie theatre in Suttons Bay is in danger. In a cost-saving move, Hollywood studios are getting rid of 35-millimeter film all together and now they're going digital. It's a transition that is putting small cinemas like The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay in a costly predicament.
According to the IHS screen digest, a company that analyzes trends in digital media, movie studios will stop producing 35-millimeter film prints for the United States by the end of 2013. And because The Bay Theatre only has a film projector, that means they couldn't screen any of the new digital movie releases unless they upgrade.
Managing Director of The Bay Theatre Denise Sica says, "Hollywood is definitely going digital... the studios spend a lot of money it's costly to print 35 mm film and its much less expensive to just push a button and create a digital print... the draw back however is the cost of converting and thatâ??s what were facing right now."
As the 122 year reign of the 35-millimeter film projector rapidly comes to an end, digital movie projectors are taking over. And thatâ??s creating a costly predicament for many movie theatres.
Sica says, â??We are faced with spending $75,000 dollars investment, just to keep doing what we've been doing, which is showing movies, and thatâ??s a pretty big bill to swallow."
And The Bay theatre isnâ??t a lone, according to the HIS, by 2015 film will be used in only 17% of movie theatres worldwide.
Petoskey Cinema is also trying to make the switch to digital and hopes to have two digital projectors by the end of the year. Itâ??s also the same story for Bellaire Theatre.
In Frankfort however, the Garden Theatre recently made the transition, largely thanks to the out-pouring of community donations. This is a route that The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay may also have to take.
Sica says, "We're determined to continue to run and be current with our programming, whether that means taking out loans, or finding some community support, whatever it takes, we're going to do."
If you'd like to make a donation or have any fundraising ideas for The Bay Theatre you can contact Denise Sica at Denise@thebaytheatre.com.