Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Drive-Ins and the Digital Transition

A very modest piece I wrote--sparked by the recent closing of more drive-ins, as winter (among other things) approaches--is now up at Antenna. I use the occasion to revisit some broader ideas which will hopefully be the centerpiece of the digital cinema project.

This is, I just realized, only the second time I've published something related to that (after 2012's "I'll (Always) Be Back" essay)--though the first to deal explicitly with the central idea of film nostalgia.

To clarify one point in the essay--the digital transition to DCPs didn't directly squeeze out the Keno theatre, as it as others. It just significantly affected the drive-in theatre's bottom line, as 35mm prints became increasingly rare, at a time when the land's owners are anxious to redevelop--thus giving the Keno significantly less leverage in negotiations.

My sense is the realty in question has wanted to re-develop for years, and the prohibitive costs of the digital transition finally forced the issue: why spend all that money to upgrade when the future is so uncertain?