As you may know, the movies are going digital, by which I mean that very soon film studios won’t be distributing, well, film anymore. Instead, they’ll be distributing all their movies digitally. For many small, independent theaters, the need to switch to digital projection means spending a lot more than is affordable.
As far as the North Country Regional Economic Development Council is concerned, keeping those theaters going is a boon to economic development in our region. So (and not for the first time) the REDC has been awarded a big chunk of funding to use for making the digital conversion (actually, the North Country has done quite well in the competitive funding process generally — most recently, it was named a “Top Performer” for the third time and received $81.3 million for 70 projects.)
In a press release, the Go Digital or Go Dark campaign, which has been working to help eight theaters in our region make the digital transition and expand their programming, says $235 thousand in grants from the REDC program will go to several local theatres (from the press release):
A historic movie house that’s been undergoing a complete building renovation by its owner, the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts, will be able to provide expanded content for the region, such as traveling film series, live streaming, and classic silent films (accompanied by a 1924 Wurlitzer organ). Grant total: $78,000.
A new partnership between the Hollywood and Tahawus Cultural Center will go to the purchase of a digital equipment package for 1 of the theater’s 2 screens, and expand cultural programming to preserve the economic vitality of Main Street. Grant total: $70,000.
A new partnership between the Strand and the Adirondack Film Society will go toward the purchase of a digital equipment package for the theater and allow the Film Society to expand its annual Film Form and also to provide a new avenue for screening locally made content. Grant total: $70,000.
Indian Lake Theater
In addition, a fourth grant provides $17,000 for the Indian Lake Theater. The project involves training, professional development, equipment and support for a new position at the theater, which installed digital equipment this summer.