Capri Kickstarter: DCI or Die

Editor’s Note: You have probably already seen several mentions of the new fund-raising campaign from The Capri. It has been covered in the newspaper. It has been all over the Internet and social media sites. It has been relentlessly Facebooked and Tweeted and they run an ad for it before every Capri movie. In fact, when we went to see West of Memphis this week, Martin came down and made an in-person pitch to the audience before the curtain opened.

But it’s easy to be aware of a campaign without doing anything about it. And we’re asking you to do something about it this time. If you haven’t already given, please do so. And if you already gave, chip in an additional ten bucks. The indy movie theater in Mobile has only been around for four years and they were able to raise this sum easily. Don’t let them show us up. The Capri is a real treasure and we should rally to the cause together whenever they ask us for support.

They’re over halfway to their goal. Let’s knock this out. We’ve reprinted their ask below:

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The time has come. The Capri Theatre needs to get digital.

Click here for our Kickstarter campaign (and please share with all of your social media).

The Capri Theatre has kicked off a Kickstarter campaign to raise $80,000 to purchase and install a digital system which will allow the Capri Theatre to continue its mission of bringing to Montgomery the independent, foreign and classic films usually ignored by the multiplexes.

We would prefer to put this off until we restore and rehabilitate the building, but the industry is changing too quickly. If we do not add digital, we’ll soon be unable to show the movies we currently show on film.

At least one major studio, 20th Century Fox, has announced it will stop handling film by the end of the year, and other studios are expected to follow suit. Many of the small distributors, the ones the Capri usually deals with, have already been forced to abandon film prints of some of their releases. Small distributors cannot afford to carry dual inventories of films likely to only turn a small profit. The Capri Theatre has had to pass on several films lately because they were not available in 35mm.

Digital Cinema does not mean BluRay or other high definition formats. The DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) standard is a much higher resolution than those home theatre systems, as well as a myriad of higher presentation specifications and requirements. Nor do the films come shipped on a BluRay-like disk. Instead, Digital Cinema Packages are shipped to the theatres on hard drives.

Essentially, a DCI system is a proprietary computer with a very powerful lightsource, that and lots of ancillary equipment needed to decode and run the whole operation to the DCI specifications.

And much like computers, they are not intended to last forever.

The Capri Theatre’s 35 mm projectors, which are still in operation, were purchased used twenty years ago. They are somewhere between 40 to 50 years old. Digital projectors have, at best, a 10 year life expectancy.

In the 30 years the Film Society has operated the Capri Theatre, it has not spent $80,000 on 35mm equipment, including purchase, repairs and maintenance.

Digital Cinema will mean the end to many “Mom and Pop” movie theaters around the country. We don’t want to be one of them.

To that end, the Capri Theatre is launching a Kickstarter campaign to run through April 30. For those not familiar with Kickstarter, it is an online fundraising site for the arts. Projects from around the world are put up to recruit support from people everywhere pledging their money. A monetary goal is set, and if the goal is reached, the project gets funded. If the goal is not reached, the project goes unfunded and the donors are not charged.

Many theatres across the country have successfully used Kickstarter to fund projects like new marquees and digital conversions. Last fall, the Crescent Theatre in Mobile raised $80,000 on Kickstarter for their digital conversion.

If the Crescent Theatre, which has only been operating for four years, can raise $80,000, I have to believe the Capri Community Film Society, which has operated the Capri Theatre for 30 years, has built up enough good will to do the same.

The Capri Theatre’s Kickstarter campaign will be active through April 30. If the target amount is exceeded the funds will go towards acquiring the equipment needed to bring in special shows like operas and concert events. Please, support the Capri by pledging generously and by sharing this with everyone you know through Facebook, Twitter and every other form of communication. This is a critical moment in the history of the Capri Theatre, please be a part of it. Thank you for your support

Martin McCaffery
Director
Capri Theatre

 

About Capri Theatre

The Capri Theatre is Montgomery’s only independent movie theatre. The Capri Theatre is owned and operated by the Capri Community Film Society, Inc., a non-profit organization. Located at 1045 E Fairview Ave in Montgomery, AL.
For more information on the Capri Theatre, call 334-262-4858 or visit online at capritheatre.org

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