Lyric Theatre holds event January 17 to discuss plans to go digital
The Lyric Theatre first opened its doors more than 100 years ago. After growing and relocating several times, the theatre moved to its current location on College Avenue in 1930. This final move was motivated by the need to keep pace with a swiftly evolving industry. At that time, The Lyric was one of only three cinemas in the Commonwealth built for sound pictures.
Since then, the Lyric has become an iconic cornerstone in the cultural life of Blacksburg, serving about 75,000 people each year. And once again, the Lyric needs to keep pace with a major technological shift in the film business. Over the past several years the movie exhibition industry has been making the transition from 35mm film to digital cinema. It is projected that by the end of 2013 few, if any, studios will still be producing 35mm film. The Lyric will be unable to offer the latest movies to the public if they do not possess the equipment to show a film in the new standard format. A digital upgrade will also mean a significant improvement in picture quality. No more scratched prints! And since there is no print, the Lyric will no longer be limited by print availability. But film lovers should take heart; they will continue to maintain the old 35mm projector for special screenings. While it is essential that the Lyric make this transition, it is a daunting investment for a not-for-profit community venue. The current estimate for purchasing and installing the new system is about $120,000.
In an effort to inform the public about what this digital upgrade will mean to the film going community and how they can help make this investment possible, the Lyric is sponsoring a reception and free screening of Side by Side: The Science Art and Impact of Digital Cinema on Thursday, January 17. Reception begins at 6:00, followed by the film at 7:00. For more information please contact the Lyric office at 951-4771.
Submitted by Susan Mattingly, The Lyric Theatre
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