The Braden movie theater recently purchased three new digital movie projectors. But they came with a hefty price tag, which left Arlen Dow, owner, to wonder - is the transition to digital going to be the end of small locally owned movie theaters?

The big movie companies are cutting cause and slowly fading away 35 millimeter prints, which is what most local theaters used. The companies are going digital, because its easy to store and distribute, but that means the small theaters have to upgrade their movie projectors to digital ones, otherwise they will be forced to go out of business.

Sasha Spielman

To protect his investment Dow was forced to buy three new digital projectors that cost $60,000 a piece.

‘Just because I had to spend a lot of money to upgrade the projectors doesn’t mean I can charge more for a movie ticket,’ Dow said.

There are several programs and grants available to apply for, but qualifications are based on ticket sales.

According to Dow, Presque Isle’s Braden movie theater did qualify for one such program, but the movie theater in Caribou did not. Dow vows to keep the Caribou movie theater open for as long as he can, but he needs to buy digital projectors if he wants to keep the doors open.

Sasha Spielman

‘From time to time people stop me on the street and they say ‘Thank you for bringing back to life the movie theater’ and it makes me happy to know that we are doing something nice for the community’ Dow said.

The new digital movie projectors in the Braden theater will be installed in the next few weeks. The theater will be closed for four days while the installation is going on. Dow said he hopes to have the new projectors running by Nov.1. He is trying to get the new James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ to be the first digital movie shown at the Braden theater.

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