Oct 2014 (newest at the top, oldest at the bottom)
The Digital conversion is complete. We now have the newest, most modern equipment in the state. We will be capable of running the new higher definition, 48 frames per second version of hollywood's biggest releases. All in Dolby Digital 2D and 3D. Like anything electronic, you don't want to be first on the block with new technology. It's outdated before 6months and it's way too expensive to buy! A lot of the "Big Movie Theater Chains" converted 5 to 6 years ago and are stuck with really inferior and outdated equipment because of it.
Well we are all witness to the biggest change in the Movie Industry in over 118 years. Since 1895 and the first public exhibition of motion pictures, not a lot has changed to the basic 35mm format. Sure, there is the addition on sound, then better sound, then digital sound, but the basic mechanism for displaying the image onscreen has not changed in all that time. You can take a 100 year old film and thread it up on our current projectors and it will play just like over 100 years ago. Pretty amazing!
. . . . .Next week that all goes away for good. Sure we put in our 1st digital 3D system back in 2009 just before the release of AVITAR and have added 2 more digital systems since then. I wonder how many of you knew when you were watching film and when you were watching digital. See, film is still that good. We kind of hate to see it go. But, there is no choice in the matter. By the end of this year there will be no more film stock produced anywhere. That's it, done. Technicolor and Deluxe are both now dismantling their film labs and production lines. All the film employees have either learned digital or are finished working in a few short months. It's the end of an era.
Digital does have some advantages over film. The movies are shipped out on reusable SCSI hard drives and we then offload them into our system. The playback is perfectly the same each time you run it. No degradation over time. Once we are finished with the playdate we simply delete the file and it's gone. We can also run the movie in multiple theaters up to all 6, at the click of a mouse for big openings. We used to have multiple copies of the same movie shipped in or had to inter-thread the same movie back and forth thru the projection room thru mutiple projectors and then carefully monitor the film tension between them for 2 and a half straight hours. (I'm not going to miss that one bit, the worst was the Lord of the Rings movies at over 3 hours each. ugh!)
But still there was something nostalgic about getting in a new big release and opening up the fresh 15minute reels that everyone was anticipating watching that night. Loading a new computer file just isn't as exciting. Oh well, that's the price of progress.
For a 5 minute video on the early history of film Click Here
For a 2min 30 sec video on how 35mm projectors work Click Here
For a 3min 30 sec video on how digital cinema works Click Here
We are in the process of upgrading our final 3 screens to the latest Digital projection which will allow us to run the latest formats like 48 frames per second High Frame Rate on the latest series IV projectors. Missoula has the oldest series I (ones) .
. And speaking of "BIG" , our screens in theaters # 1& 2 have always been 26 feet high and 40 feet wide. with 35 foot ceilings. You've always been able to enjoy the "Big" screens and for the lowest admission prices. So much for the "Big" prices and "Big" plans of the other guys. Dolby Digital on big color correct (white) screens beat Real D on silvery/ metal screens any day.
We would like to ask customer's to keep up the good honesty in the Bitterroot. In the past customers had been stealing our Dolby 3D glasses from the auditorium by various methods. The special 3D glasses cost us $30.00 per pair and we "LOAN" them to you with each ticket purchased. After each use they are washed and sanitized in a large commercial dishwasher and hand dried ready for the next use. Hollywood does not help us buy or maintain the glasses or the equipment and they receive up to 85% of the ticket price. So if we lose one pair of glasses we need to sell almost 18 more tickets without losing any glasses to make up for it. The special glasses cannot be used at home or in Missoula or most any other theater. Most theaters use the cheap all plastic throwaway glasses that cost 50 cents each and don't work anywhere near as good as the Dolby Digital system. We are the only one with this exclusive, green, sustainable system in the state. We feel our customers deserve the best technology and presentation available. Please keep up our faith in the good people of the Bitterroot Valley. If you have some of these glasses at home, please return them to the theater. We are now 2 dollars cheaper than the "other guys" with superior equipment.
Check back often for more info.
...The environmentally friendly 3D system.
We have installed infrared night vision cameras in all auditoriums with a monitor at the ticket counter to allow you to "see" in real time where the seats are still available in each theater before you purchase your ticket. Better customer service through technology !
We have installed a new High Definition 1080P Video display in the entrance lobby continuously running our Now Showing trailers. Now you can get more info to help you decide what to watch tonight & next time you come!! We're always improving your locally owned valley Pharaohplex.