David Bordwell On the Art House Convergence, 2012

The Art Theater in Champaign, Illinois

As digital projection becomes the norm and the major studios move closer to completely phasing out 35mm distribution, art houses and repertory cinemas face the difficult task of making the costly switchover to digital.  The standards stipulated by the Digital Cinema Initiatives require an upgrade to systems that can cost between $50,000 to $100,000 per screen. As fewer films release on 35mm, art  and ‘smart’ house exhibitors must choose whether to invest in digital equipment or to look for alternative exhibition models. David Bordwell reports on the crisis of the art house and some of these possible alternatives emerging from the 2012 Art House Convergence, an annual meeting of theater owners and programmers as well as delegates from distribution companies and equipment manufacturers. The article is the fifth installment of a series on transitions to digital projection. Read on his blog, Observations on Film Art.

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