General Question

dearest_prudence's avatar

Do movie theaters still use film for movies?

Asked by dearest_prudence (464 points ) March 25th, 2009

I would think in this day and age it would have been moved onto digital

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7 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Very few have moved to digital. Film is still king. A scary amount don’t even have digital sound. Dolby Digital is about 10K to install. DTS is cheaper at around 6K, and SDDS is about 15K. A full on digital projection system is about 100K per screen.

I was a projectionist turned “dude who was responsible for fixing projectors in Oregon” for a long time. I have never seen a digital one in use.

Kiev749's avatar

we have them out here in Wichita, Kansas at Warren Theaters… They are nice…

dalton's avatar

Great question @dearest_prudence.. I was just wondering this yesterday!!!

dearest_prudence's avatar

@dalton – I was inspired at the campfire
thank you

gailcalled's avatar

We have small theatres here; the unadjustable volume on the Dolby sound has often driven me to the lobby. Some theatres give out free ear muffs to prevent their audience from going deaf. That seems to defeat the point of going to the movies.

The latest James Bond (w. D Craig) was not only incomprehensible and pointless but could have been heard 200 miles away.

TheIowaCynic's avatar

They actually do, for both filming and presenting it on the screen. The good, hollywood films are still shot on film because digital isn’t able to get the same dynamic range as film and still can’t compete with good film in picking up the richer colors.
The reason they’re shown on the big screen from a reel, is that each 35mm film slide is the equivalent of 35MB’s of image. So the digital equivalent would have to process about 1Gig per second and they still haven’t found a way to approach that with pure digital.

What is ironic/interesting, is that studios will generally shoot on film, scan it into the digital world for easier editing and than put it BACK onto film for showing in the theaters

Jack79's avatar

My local one uses film for sure, though they changed their projector a few years back. The film quality is much better nowadays of course, and they also improved their sound system.

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