Digital upgrade

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Technology advances in the movie industry are forcing a theater in Pleasant Grove to make an expensive change in the way they show their movies. The owners have no choice but to shell out the money.

About a year ago, Fox Studios told Watergardens that they are switching all their movies to digital disk instead of film by the end of 2013. If theaters didn’t make the transition, Fox would no longer supply them with movies.

Theater owner Mike Daniels explained that Fox Studios isn’t the only company making the change, “Slowly but surely the rest of the studios have started to follow suit and they’re now eliminating film as well.”

Daniels says the film providers are fading from the horizon, facing bankruptcy and going out of business, soon making digital the only option.

The transition is an expensive one. A year ago, this change would have cost around $100,000 per screen. However, a year later, the price has come down to about half that.

Watergardens raised ticket prices up about six months ago. The extra 50-cents per person is what’s paying for the transition, and even that won’t cover everything in time. Daniels says he’ll still have to take out a loan.

Despite the hefty price tag, movie theater owners agree that digital projection is a positive step forward for the industry.

Theater owner Tyler Walters explained the difference the digital screens will make, “I think to the consumer is going to notice a much higher quality than what they’ve become accustomed to with film.”

Another benefit from digitization is better accessibility for people with disabilities; this includes glasses that close-caption the movie for those who need it.

Watergardens plans to knock out the whole project the week following Thanksgiving.

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