Updated Tue, Oct 22, 2013 7:16 am
The Athena Cinema is going digital.
In keeping up with the sweeping changes in theater management and film exhibition, the theater is undergoing extensive projection booth upgrades and installing the latest in digital film projection.
"This was absolutely required in order to continue functioning as a first-run art house cinema," said Operations Manager Alexandra Kamody.
"Film distributors have almost completely stopped circulating 35mm film prints; new titles are solely distributed in digital formats. We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to keep up with times and install the latest projection equipment, ensuring that we can continue our mission of providing Athens and southeast Ohio with the best in independent and international cinema."
Unlike most other theaters, however, the Athena Cinema will not discard its 35mm celluloid film projectors.
In order to screen some older titles, or to screen archival film prints, such equipment is still in use, and required by some classic film archives and distributors.
"This is all very welcome news," said Ruth Bradley, director of the Athens International Film and Video Festival. "Many new independent films are only available in digital formats, but there are still artists who prefer older technologies. The Athena will be one of the few theaters in the country that has the technical capabilities to screen just about any format, which is a great asset for artists and audiences alike."
The Athena will be closing two of its theaters for several days at the end of the month but will have at least one screen open during the week of the installation. Leading up the installation, the theater will be joining in the Athens Halloween celebration with "Back From the Dead," a trio of spooky movies "resurrected" on the big screen.
From Oct. 25th-26, a variety of Halloween films will be screened, including Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Roman Polanski’s classic Rosemary’s Baby and the Academy Award-winning The Exorcist.
The theater plans to debut the new projectors on Nov. 1 with three new titles. For more information about the Athena Cinema, visit www.athenacinema.com.