The Hollywood Theater
in Dormont has given itself an ultimatum: Go Digital or Go Dark.
The title of its recently launched Indiegogo
crowd-funding campaign is a serious one. Managing Director Chad Hunter says that there is no hard date set, but if the one-screen, 300-seat theater can't raise enough funds to transition to from 35mm film to a digital format, the Hollywood will close for good.
Hunter says it's increasingly difficult for independent cinemas to screen certain releases, with restrictions on use of DVD's, and the rarity of many film prints.
"The writing is on the wall," he says. "We can't operate effectively when these walls keep coming up from the studios."
The theater needs to raise $75,000 to make the film-to-digital conversion. The campaign began with $5,000 in seed money from last September's Pittsburgh Day of Giving. The Indiegogo campaign
has so far raised $6,622 as of press time, with 24 days to go.
The Hollywood Theater originally opened in 1933 and is one of few remaining single-screen movie houses in the Pittsburgh area. It has opened and closed several times in the past decade, but was reopened in May 2010 by the non-profit Friends of the Hollywood Theater (FOHT). The organization's long-term goal is to purchase the theater from its current owners.
And the Hollywood isn't alone in this scramble to transition. Theaters around the country are making the expensive switch—or closing up shop—including The Guthrie,
in nearby Grove City, PA.
This Saturday, March 2nd, The Living Dead Festival will host a sold-out fundraiser at the Hollywood, featuring a meet-and-greet with cast members from the 1968 film by George A. Romero. The film will be screened in 35mm, with all proceeds going toward the Indiegogo campaign.
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Chad Hunter