State offers loans for theaters to go digital
New York state is offering $400,000 in loans to help some small movie theaters trade in their film projectors for digital models.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration said Thursday the funding for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council is available to theaters in northern New York.
No dollar figure was announced in June when the council approved the reassignment of 2012 funds to the “Go Digital or Go Dark” campaign initiated by the Adirondack North Country Association and the Adirondack Film Society.
“Quite honestly, it’s more than they’re probably going to need,” ANCA?Executive Director Kate Fish told the Enterprise today. “It’s a very generous act on the part of the state and the regional council.”
Hollywood has undertaken an industry-wide conversion from 35mm film to digital projection and soon won’t distribute movies on film. That’s left independent and small historic theaters faced with the choice either to spend $70,000 to $80,000 a screen to convert to digital or go out of business.
The Tupper Lake’s State Theater, the Indian Lake Theater and the Glen Drive-In of Queensbury have already converted with a combination of owners’ investment and moviegoers’ donations. The State is currently closed for installation of the new system and is expected to reopen sometime this month.
The Strand in Old Forge is quite close to its goal, according to its Go Digital fundraising website.
The owners of the Palace Theatre in Lake Placid have put up money to convert at least one of its four screens, and a local and online fundraising effort is underway to raise money for the rest. Fundraising is also underway to convert the Hollywood Theatre in AuSable Forks, the Strand in Plattsburgh and the Cinematheque in South Glens Falls. To learn more or to donate, visit www.adirondack.org/godigital.