MRS TITTLETATTLES BIGGER PICTURE
Threat of closure hangs over Merseyside cinemas future, without vital digital equipment.
this article has not been updated since it was first published in 2011 Wooltons cinema and Crosby have since
upgraded to digital projection.
With the impending switch over from 35mm film projection to digital (hard drive) projection lurking on the UK cinema
horizon, there are real concerns that some of the smaller independent cinemas may not be able to afford the cost of
upgrading their film equipment to digital and without the new equipment it could result in closure. One such cinema on
Merseyside with this financial headache is the Crosby Plaza community cinema. With mounting concerns for their future
existence the Plaza trustee’s have set up a public appeal fund aimed at raising at least £120,000.00 to replace their (soon to
be) antiquated 35mm analogue film projectors. The Woolton Picture house is another cinema on Merseyside which will no
doubt find itself in the same precarious position as Crosby’s cinema unless they too take the plunge into digital cinema
sooner rather than later. Suggestions that the ‘Woolly’ (as the cinema is affectionately known locally) should stick with the
old traditional 35mm format and become a dedicated classic-oldie style film theatre, (romantic and sentimental as the idea
may sound) ought to be dismissed out of hand by those who want to see their local cinema survive and flourish into the
future. Some say the ‘Three tenures’ who own the Woolton picture house have for too long harvested the fruits of the
former cinema owner’s investment (following his untimely death in 2006), with little evidence to show of sowing any
seeds themselves for the cinema’s current long term future. If that is true then now is as good a time as any for them to
make a lasting contribution of their own and prove themselves worthy custodians by reinvesting in new digital equipment.
However, if their half-hearted attempts to upgrade the buildings façade, canopy and disable facilities are anything to go by,
then the future will look less than bright when the time comes to make the change to digital.
Looking at the Bigger and brighter picture, unlike Crosby cinema the Woolton picture house is a business operation which
does not rely on any public funding, nor does it engage the services of volunteers to keep the wheels turning and
thankfully they only need to budget for just the one screen digital upgrade as apposed to Crosby’s three. With this in mind,
If they [the cinema owners] are astute enough to finance and undergo a fully automated digital upgrade without being lead
down the proverbial garden path by those employee’s most likely to be threatened by change, then by using the extra
revenue gained from the added attraction of 3d digital presentations & digitally remastered classics, along with the huge
annual savings they will make by no longer having to employ the services of a full-time chief projectionist (who’s position
and salary will unavoidably become extinct and untenable), then they will effortlessly weather the storm and easily recoup
the costs of their digital investment within a relatively short period of time.
The simplicity of digital cinema will also for the first time allow the cinema owners the freedom and control to run their
cinema business the way they want to run it without being under the autocratic constraint of any one particular person’s
skill to allow them to. Technically if the digital installation is thought through properly it will be possible to start the show
from any given location by any unskilled individual e.g from the comfort of the cinema owners own home. They would
however most likely follow the example of other digital cinemas by downloading the film from the distributor via satellite
to a local hard drive connected to the digital projector, then have the cinema’s part time student confectionary attendant
open the curtains and start the movie show simply by pressing a button on their iphone app in one hand while at the same
time serving soft drinks or popcorn with their other hand and who knows when the owners of Woolton picture house
discover just how easy it is to operate digital projection equipment they may well decide to recoup their digital
expenditure even quicker by attaching a broomstick to the part-time attendants backside and have them brush up the
discarded popcorn from between the rows of seats all at the same time! From a wage saving and business management
perspective the argument in favour of digital cinema is a no-brainer which instead of posing as a threat to Woolton’s
cinema may well turn out to be its saviour.
Woolton Cinema.info Publication`s © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Mrs T gets on her soap box to bring you all the chit chat,news and comments
concerning your local Picture house The Woolton.
KEEPING TIME ON
LATE NIGHT OPENING
MYTHS & LEGENDS
Mrs T debates the good old fashioned cinema
intermission and lifts the lid on Wooltons
Hush-Hush ice cream intermissions.
Read more on this story
Related Article: Where did all the Projectionists go ? Think of a film projectionist and what comes to mind ? is it a image of a
dumpy bearded bloke in an old waistcoat....Read more on this story