Help Keep the Hollywood Theater Open!
After nearly 100 years of showing 35mm motion picture film in movie theaters, the film industry is now undergoing a mammoth change to a new format. Studios and distributors are now making the switch to DCP, or Digital Cinema Package, a file format that is screened at theaters via a high end digital projector and server. Movie theaters need to invest up to $100,000 per screen to convert to this new systerm. Up to 60% of U.S. movie theaters have reportedly already made the conversion, with the bulk of those being larger corporate multiplex theaters. The remaining 40% includes many of the smaller historic neighborhood cinemas across the country that can’t afford the high cost of the switch, a good number of which have already been forced to close their doors forever.
The Hollywood Theater is part of this 40% and faces the biggest challenge of its 90-some year history. Several studios have already told the Hollywood that it must show their films on DCP or not show them at all. A poignant example is the new film The Perks of Being A Wallflower. Writer/Director Stephen Chbosky actually grew up in Upper St. Clair and spent many nights at the Hollywood Theater seeing The Rocky Horror Picture Show. When he returned to Pittsburgh last year he actually shot part of his film at the Hollywood, and the fee he paid the theater helped us to file our nonprofit incorporation papers. Stephen Chbosky has joined the advisory board of the theater too. But despite this meaningful connection the film’s distribution company has refused to let the Hollywood Theater show Perks of Being a Wallflower because we can’t show the new DCP format. We expect that the majority of studios will follow suit in 2013 and the Hollywood will have nothing left to show. The theater must go digital or go dark.
Since the Hollywood reopened last year people from all over Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania have come to the theater for a film or event and told us how important the Hollywood is. The theater has amassed nearly 5,000 Facebook fans and hundreds of Twitter folowers. We know you are out there, and here’s where you come in!
The Hollywood Theater needs to raise $75,000 to to make the film-to-digital conversion in 2013. With $5,000 seed money from Pittsburgh’s Day of Giving this past September, we now launch this Indiegogo campaign to raise the additional $70,000. If every one of our Facebook fans gave just $20 we’d hit our goal and help keep the Hollywood Theater open. Please donate to our campaign today – and share and repost with your family and friends too. Thank you!