Each Monday on RCTV’s Facebook page, I try to post a video for what I’ve labeled Media Monday. This week, I found a short Emmy Award-winning documentary called Going Dark: The Final Days of Film Projection that focuses on the changing landscape for movie theaters and goers as Hollywood discontinues making movies on film and converts to digital output. As you can imagine, movie projectionists are sad to see film go.
The large movie chains have prepared for this, but smaller, independent local movie theaters have a much harder time coming up with the $70K needed to purchase equipment to project digitally. Some have made the decision to die… to close their doors, rather than make a leap across that digital divide.
When we screened our RCTV OUTPUT ’14 Film Festival at the Cinema Theater earlier this year, our friends at the theater spoke of how few movies are now available on film causing a dire need to convert.
The Cinema Theater is a Rochester treasure. Located on South Goodman Street, it is the oldest continuously-operating movie theater, not just in Rochester, but in the entire United States! Opened in 1914 as “The Clinton,” it got two makeovers; one in 1949 that gave it its current Art Deco Décor, and a second in 1985. I can attest that it was much-needed at that time, because I used to live around the corner from the theater in the early 80’s, and since I could walk there, I was a regular. Kudos to owner/investor Jo Ann Morreale who realized that there is a place for treasures such as The Cinema and chose to renovate rather than eradicate its historic charm.
This year marks The Cinema’s 100th Anniversary, and it retains a unique feature: it’s one of the few – certainly in Rochester, but probably in most places around the country – that still offers a double feature for only $5 ($3 for seniors and kids under 12). There, for the price of one ticket at most movie theaters, you can get two movies and a bag of popcorn. What a deal! It’s also a great place for a small organization to hold a private event or a screening, because their pricing is quite reasonable.
When I was posting Going Dark, below, I happened to discover that the Cinema Theater has just launched an Indiegogo Campaign to raise $5K of the funding needed to make the conversion to digital. If you would like to help ensure that the Cinema Theater keeps its doors open, please consider making a donation to their IndieGoGo fundraising campaign.
So, let’s celebrate the 100th Anniversary of this charming “grand dame” of movie theaters that pays tribute to the golden age of Hollywood by helping keep its doors open!