The Strand Theatre of Old Forge was awarded a $25,000 grant through Empire State Development to aid in its required digital conversion process.
The funds were made available as part of the $738 million that was awarded by Governor Andrew Cuomo in round two of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative on Wednesday, December 19.
CAP-21 assisted Strand owners Bob Card and Helen Zyma in securing the grant money which will be used to help ease the financial burden of converting the theater’s equipment to comply with the movie studios’ switch from 35 millimeter film to a digital format.
It is expected that within the next year, all movies will be produced in a digital format, which will save the movie studios approximately $1 billion a year.
However, their switch has forced many theater owners around the globe to shut their doors citing the cost of purchasing new equipment and the costs to maintain and upgrade the equipment every few years.
According to CAP-21 Executive Director Nick Rose, the grant covers only about a quarter of the money needed to fulfill all of the requirements.
However, he expects more money to become available thanks to the efforts of Senator Betty Little and a coalition of over a dozen North Country theater owners, which includes Card and Zyma.