'Pay the price or go dark': Going digital a giant leap for 'dollar theaters'

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  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    March 8, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    Change has always been a part of the motion picture industry. At first, movies were blac and white 16mm silent productions. Over the years, film went to 35mm and, on occasion, 70mm. Sound was added, and then came color. Nearly square screens gave way to wide-screen movies. Single screen theaters gave way to megaplexes. All of this required the theater owners to spend money for new equipment and facilities. Digital is no different. It simplifies the process, though, and improves the theater-going experience with no flickering films, no broken film or interruptions if the projectionist doesn't get things set up properly.

    People go to the movies because the experience isn't the same as sitting at home watching something on television (assuming they haven't spent thousands for a home theater). The sound and picture are both bigger, and you're sharing the experience with other attendees. It gives you a few hours of relaxation without interruptions or distractions.

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    March 7, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    I really appreciate the effort and added risk taken by the Towne Theater owners in American Fork. Digital movies are a better experience there, and I am grateful to see movies for an excellent price, not long after they were first run. Thank you for committing to your business and the community!

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    Not sure why anyone even goes to a movie anymore with the advent of on-demand content and large screen tv's. HD looks better on my big screen than it ever will in a theater. And I dont have to sit in a seat thats covered in goop from the previous visitors. I can press pause when I gotta take a break. At least "dollar" theaters have the price right. Maybe. I maybe go to a full-price movie once or twice a year. The movie has to be a real block buster though to spend $8 on. 99% of movies are overpriced, and they under deliver.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 7, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    Layton, UT
    Kaysville theater ROCKS!!

    4:03 p.m. March 6, 2014



    The Larry H. Miller Mega-Plexes are like going to malls, and not the Movies!

    All the glits, with No hometown cinema feel.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    March 7, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    @ Strider. the thing I like most about your comment is the part about a work ethic. something I see as lacking in the youth of today. I own a business, and feel that the biggest problem with people who come in to apply for work is the work ethic part. the other things can be taught!

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    @ samhill, Is your comment tongue-in-cheek?

    There will be new jobs to design, build and repair and replace these new machines. Machines that require more skilled operators (labor) will help make workers more productive. We will always have to labor for our "daily bread" IMO.

    I would suggest that the "somehow provide" comment will involve labor. Mental and physical labor is rewarding. The arena in which we labor will probably change over time. Once men had jobs manufacturing motion picture film and film cameras, processing film and distributing film to movie theaters and between theaters. Now the camera is digital, distribution may be on discs that are sent via mail/shippers and computers arrange the show unique to each screen. This too is done by a worker, trained in a different set of skills. People and companies that didn't read the tea leaves were left behind, see Eastman Kodak.

    Hence, the need to instill in our children and grand children the need to acquire both knowledge, skills and a strong work ethic. Work we must, the question is what kind of work.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2014 8:52 a.m.


    I guess it's a good thing that analog movie projection is not such a highly-specialized and expensively-acquired skill that movie projectionists would be fit for nothing else . . .

    The process you are describing is called "disruptive innovation" by Clayton M. Christensen (an advisory board member for this newspaper), who described it in much greater detail in his book, "The Innovator's Dilemma". Before that, essentially the same process was called "creative destruction" by the famous economist Joseph Schumpeter.

    New technologies, industries, and markets are emerging all of the time on the shoulders of older technologies, industries, and markets, eventually replacing them. This is Economic Darwinism in its purest and best sense (unlike the other kind, which revolves around the concept that only the economically strongest individuals are fit to survive, and which enshrines the 1%, while trampling the peasant 99%).

    Fortunately, as a general rule, we are a remarkably resilient, adaptable, and self-preservation-minded species, continually reinventing ourselves in terms of careers and livelihoods -- sometimes with society's (government) assistance.

    The alternative would be a Luddite world that would involve abandoning technology and living a very Third World agrarian lifestyle.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2014 7:31 a.m.

    "'It does itself,' said Eric Hansen, the manager of the Holladay Water Gardens. 'You plug it in, the system ingests the contents.'"

    This is one more example of how improved technology means fewer jobs. What once might have taken one or two projectionists to do the job of displaying the movies every night, now takes....none!

    It is a process of production increases from various forms of automation at the expense of jobs for us low-tech humans that has been on-going since the days of Gutenberg in the mid 1400's, and probably in some other form before that.

    Hopefully, the resulting increases in production will continue to allow us to reach the blissful state where we somehow provide for ourselves without a requirement for actual labor (jobs), since that seems to be where we're headed.

    March 6, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    Kaysville theater ROCKS!!