The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, November 18, 2018

Digital age prompting closure of base theaters
Movie patrons wait for the showing of "Hotel Transylvania" inside the theater on Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota on its last day of operation, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service theater serving airmen and their families is one of 60 across the globe that's closing because it's too expensive to switch from 35 millimeter film prints to an all-digital projection format. AP Photo/Dirk Lammers.

By: Dirk Lemmers, Associated Press

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE (AP).- Stacey Darling loves watching family movies at the Ellsworth Air Force Base theater in South Dakota because it's so much more affordable than taking her three children to the multiplex in nearby Rapid City.

Darling, whose husband is an airman, has been catching second-run films on base for about 2 1/2 years, and was there Saturday for the theater's last showing — a screening of the animated movie "Hotel Transylvania." The movie theater is among 60 around the globe run by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service that is screening its last picture show amid the industry's conversion to digital projection.

"We always come out for the cartoons," said Darling, of Grand Forks, N.D. "We like the family movies."

Darling said she wishes she could go to the theater even more now that her husband, Senior Master Sgt. David Darling, has deployed to southwest Asia.

It's just not cost effective for the exchange service to invest the $120,000 per theater needed to convert from 35 millimeter film to the new format at the theaters that are being closed, said spokesman Judd Anstey. Sixty theaters will make the upgrade.

"At locations where customer attendance is decreased due to a preference for off-installation entertainment venues, a determination has been made that continued operation is no longer a viable option," Anstey said.

The exchange service runs department-store-style retail outlets, fast-food restaurants, barbers and similar services on military facilities.

Saturday's "Hotel Transylvania" screening at Ellsworth Air Force Base drew about 250 people, thanks in part to the theater forgoing the admission price for its farewell flick.

Teri Marino wishes Ellsworth patrons knew earlier about the closure so they could try to raise the cash needed to save the theater, which showed its first flick in 1969.

Marino, whose husband is a master sergeant living on base, brought her 9-year-old daughter to the final show and was enjoying the camaraderie between the mothers.

"When you're in the military, you're like family," said Marino, 37. "Especially when our husbands are deployed, the mothers — us women — stick together."

Stateside base theaters are limited to second-run movies, which typically have already spent six weeks in an off-base multiplex before. Ticket prices are lower, as is attendance. Base theaters have also been hurt by increased competition from video streaming services and DVD rental kiosks, Anstey said.

"The digital age has certainly made it easier to stay home and get content delivered directly to one's own living room," he said. "In addition, the theater business has become more competitive with multiplex and IMAX theaters in many locations adjacent to military installations.

Of the theaters making the conversion to the digital format, about 26 are in the U.S. and about 34 are overseas for a total cost of about $7.4 million, Anstey said.

Camp Zama in Japan, Spangdahlem Air Force Base in Germany, Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and Fort Hood in Texas are the first four to make the jump, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2013, Anstey said.

David Burnett, force support squadron commander for the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth, said base officials are working to ensure other movie options, such as more DVD kiosks and an arrangement with Carmike Cinemas in Rapid City for a military discount.

He said the theater has been an important spot for on-base families, especially those living in the dorms.

"It gives them an outlet," Burnett said. "It gives them something to do."

Ron Reynolds, who was stationed on the base years ago, has served as the theater's projectionist for more than a decade.

He loads a reel on one of the twin projectors before briefly turning down the upstairs room's speaker to make sure the sound is at its best.

"Projectionist is one of the greatest part-time jobs you'll ever have," said Reynolds, 49. "Sadly, all good things must come to an end."

Reynolds' son, 29-year-old Tyler Murphy, remembers seeing "Titanic" at Ellsworth as a teenager.

"This is a little bit of a nostalgic type of moment," said Murphy, now a teacher at Sturgis Brown High School. "It's never going to be the same anymore."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Today's News

January 22, 2013

Romanian authorities arrest three men involved in Rotterdam museum art heist

Gustav Klimt 150th anniversary celebrations help Vienna to record tourism year in 2012

The National Museum of Scotland displays a host of treasures from the home of the Vikings

Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art shows recently acquired pair of Japanese screens

A century of fashion photography from the Condé Nast archives at Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia

Art on the go, "Museum Space" courtesy of Paris' Charles de Gaulle international airport

New Jersey library displays Kara Walker drawing of slave having sex with a white man

Carrie Pilto appointed Director of the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis

Asaph Hyman, Director of Bonhams Chinese Art Department, is appointed to the Bonhams UK Board of Directors

Artist Nancy Peppin's obsession with Twinkies spans four decades and hundreds of works

Quai Branly Museum's Aboriginal art exhibition scores major hit in Paris with 133,716 visitors

Skylar Fein's "Remember the Upstairs Lounge" acquired by the New Orleans Museum of Art

£20 picture turns out to be £60,000 power print by Cyril Edward Power for sale at Bonhams

Human Rights is the focus of four exhibitions at the Ryerson Image Centre

Pennsylvania 'dwarf' clock whistles while it works the crowd at Stephenson's New Year's auction

Nation honors King on day of Obama inauguration

With 1,200 newly installed lamps, new Empire State Building spire dazzles rivals

Digital age prompting closure of base theaters

Columbus Museum acquires twelve panels from Dawn Black's Conceal Project

Tunisia jails 16 Islamists for one month over art violence

Dallas Contemporary announces major exhibition of Puerto Rican artist DZINE

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- TEFAF New York Fall 2018 opens to strong attendance and robust sales

2.- Christie's announces auction of Magnificent Jewels and the concurrent Jewels Online Auction

3.- French court finds Jeff Koons guilty of plagiarism

4.- Papers of the exiled Stuart kings published online for the first time

5.- New exhibition explores relationship between British and Russian royal dynasties

6.- Wes Anderson presents box of 'treasures' from Viennese vaults

7.- Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies present...The Dark Side of Hollywood

8.- Hopper, de Kooning, Gorky and Stella hit new auction records in New York

9.- Old Master? Cave paintings from 40,000 years ago are world's earliest figurative art

10.- Cat mummies, animal statues discovered in Egypt sarcophagi

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

Check out for a range of beautifully designed online slot games.

Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful