“Digital or die.”
That is the ominous warning from the president of the National Association of Theater Owners.
Independent cinemas face a new reality today. 35mm film will soon be virtually extinct and the 35mm projectors that kept the film industry rolling for more than a century are now showing up in landfills. This global, industry-wide digital conversion is being mandated by Hollywood. The major studios are working with corporate chains to fund the expensive technology required to project digital files. In many countries, governments are helping cinemas buy the expensive equipment.
But independent cinemas in the US - like The Loft - must achieve the digital conversion on their own. Too many independent movie theaters - some estimates are as high as 1,000 American cinemas - are closing down, unable to make the significant investment in digital technology. The Loft will not be one of them, but we need your help to pay for digital technology.
Here is where we are: The Loft has state-of-the-art digital technology in two of our three theaters. We need to complete the conversion by bringing our third (upstairs?) screen up to the film industry’s digital standard.
We can experience the full impact of having 3 screens ONLY if all 3 are digital.
The Loft’s third screen has done exactly what we predicted. It has exponentially expanded the number of Loft programs and events, it has made the theaters far more available for use by other local organizations and individuals, and it has increased revenue. (I think calling this the “third screen” when referring to the second screen as the “third screen” two paragraphs above is confusing.)
But all of that will be lost unless we get digital technology in our upstairs theater - soon! Otherwise The Loft will be back where it started - with two screens and far more limited programming and flexibility. A theater that is not digital is, in today’s world, not viable.
The Loft needs $75,000 to secure our future. We’re counting on those of you who count on The Loft to help us raise these funds and complete digital conversion of YOUR Loft Cinema!
How can you help? Donate money! Donate now and donate often! Let your friends know and ask them to contribute!
You can find our campaign at loftcinema.com/bftf
Thank you for helping keep independent cinema alive and thriving in Tucson!