In recognition of the importance of local theaters to downtown vibrancy, Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) has been working with Boettcher Foundation, Gates Family Foundation, Denver Film Society, Department of Local Affairs, El Pomar Foundation, the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Office of Film, Television and Media (a division of Colorado Creative Industries), students from University of Colorado Denver, the regional Small Business Development Center offices (SBDC) around the state, and the United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development to explore solutions to the challenges faced by independently-owned move theaters looking to transition from film to digital projectors in the coming months.
In late 2012 Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) was alerted to the threat of many small town and independently owned theaters facing a mandate by major movie studios to convert from the traditional 35mm format to a new digital format technology. While the conversion provides great savings to studios in distribution costs and provides greater quality as the film goes through the distribution process, initial upfront costs by local theaters can be prohibitive. Typical investments to convert one auditorium can range from $60,000 to over $120,000, depending on projection and sound needs, but upgrades are needed to other building systems to support the new technology.
After undertaking initial theater surveys and the development of a multi-faceted coalition, in July of this year, Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) announced the availability of funding to support the digital conversion efforts of Save our Screens.