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Peerless Theatre set to go digital, 3-D PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

Holyoke’s Peerless Theatre will soon be showing movies not only in digital cinema, but also in 3-D.

Golden Plains Recreation Center board members approved the purchase of a new digital cinema projector capable of showing movies in 3-D.

Hopes are to introduce the new digital cinema and Dolby 7.1 surround sound May 20-24 with “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

Peerless Manager Bob Brandt began the digital cinema campaign in March 2010, and just over a year later, is very happy with where things stand.

“It’s very exciting,” Brandt said. “The response to the campaign has been very humbling.”

The Peerless will be the only theater between Fort Collins and North Platte, Neb. to offer digital 3-D. Imperial, Neb. recently announced their theater will offer digital cinema but will not offer 3-D movies.

Brandt currently has pledges totaling $91,800 to help fund the project and the projector is scheduled to arrive by the end of this week.

The projector is a Barco with Dolby Digital 3-D. The theatre will also upgrade the sound to Dolby 7.1 surround sound from the current Dolby six-channel.

Movies will now arrive in two-pound boxes on a hard drive as opposed to the 70-pound boxes they currently come in. The change in format will cut down on shipping costs as well.

The movies will be downloaded directly into the projector and a code will be obtained via the internet that is needed for each movie to be shown. Movies will not be allowed to be played ahead of the scheduled showing, and Brandt said once they are finished, each movie will be deleted from the projector.

Brandt noted the 3-D glasses used to watch the 3-D movies will be much more than the original paper red and green glasses. The new ones are made to fit over existing glasses and will fit children much easier as well.

One of the biggest questions during the campaign has been about how much movie prices will increase. Brandt said the board actually voted to decrease prices by 50 cents for regular movies, and 3-D will cost 50 cents more than the current movie price.

Prices will remain the same unless 3-D glasses begin disappearing or are broken. Those pledging to give $100 will receive a pair of 3-D glasses to keep for themselves, according to Brandt.

Part of offering 3-D movies and 3-D glasses is the sterilization of the glasses. Brandt said a commercial washer will be donated that will automatically clean the glasses.

The Peerless also hopes to offer glasses for sale for those who would like their own pair.

Other new aspects that employees hope to offer include online ticketing. Brandt said there are some issues that need to be worked out before this is offered, however.

They also hope to get people signed up for their E-Flash that alerts people of upcoming shows and events.

The summer movie schedule will begin May 6. Movies will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, 5 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, 2:30, 5 and 7:30 p.m. on Sundays and 7:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays.

Initially there will be the same number of screenings in 3-D as there are in standard format. This allows those people who can’t handle 3-D to still be able to watch the standard version.

When the numbers even out and the demand for either format is determined, adjustments to the schedule may be made accordingly.

Currently, there are eight major titles scheduled to come out this summer that will be offered in 3-D, according to Brandt.

Brandt and GPRC board members are excited to offer the higher quality digital cinema and look forward to the 3-D aspect of the service.

Along with the cost savings of freight, the new system will virtually eliminate the projectionist position.

“I can’t wait for people to see it,” Brandt said. He added that the only comparison he can give to help visualize the enhancement is to think about what DVDs did to VHS and what HD did to DVDs.

 

Fathom Events to continue

The Fathom Events introduced last year are scheduled to continue and a big lineup is scheduled for 2011.

"Memphis" is scheduled to be shown Thursday, April 28, Saturday, April 30 and Tuesday, May 3. A matinee is scheduled for Sunday, May 1.

"Memphis" is Broadway’s current Tony Award winning best musical and will hit the big screen for the first time ever.

"Memphis" is full of explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love.

The show was captured live in performance at Broadway’s renowned Shubert Theatre in New York City where it is currently playing to sold out audiences.

The event will begin with a behind-the-scenes look at how the show was captured for the big screen and then follow directly into the feature presentation.

The Peerless has signed up for the Metropolitan Summer Encore Series which includes six operas. The three "Lord of the Rings" movies will also be shown the first three Tuesdays of June.

Visit www.thepeerlesstheatre.com for more information on upcoming shows and Fathom Events.