The end of 35mm film for movie distribution is imminent! Theatres need to convert to a digital projection system — or close. The Ritz Theatre projected last fall that January 13, 2013 would have to be its last day to show movies unless funds were raised for the $75,000 equipment change. Those funds have not yet materialized. The Ritz and UC3, a non-profit organization, will continue to hold special events and other fund raising activities for the next few months in anticipation the amount needed will be forthcoming.
Malcolm Neal at The Ritz has been in close contact with the major studios and several have agreed to keep making a few 35nim prints of most of their films for this year. However, these prints may not be available to The Ritz in a timely manner to bring in sufficient numbers of people. So, if and when 35mm prints are available for a movie on or close to its national release, Malcolm will book these for The Ritz.
This all means that The Ritz will remain open after January 13, when 35mm film is available. Weeks when it is not, The Ritz will be closed. Neal hopes that The Ritz will therefore be able to bring some movies to town and keep movie going alive in Thomaston, even if on an irregular basis, until the digital changeover can take place.