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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Fox Theater makes the switch to digital

  • Community fund drive made it all possible
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  • The Fox Theater has made a smooth transition to digital projection.
    The town's only movie house was forced to make the move because celluloid film just isn't being manufactured much anymore, and it took a community fund drive to make it work.
    The Fox christened two of its new 2,000-watt compact digital projectors last Friday with the showing of outer space drama "Gravity" and horror classic remake "Carrie" in the two smaller theaters.
    A 3,000-watt projector for the large theater has been installed, and, after a brief hiatus while the air conditioner was on the blink, has been put back into service.
    The other feature is Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
    "Everything has worked as expected, and there haven't been any glitches," theater owner Kent Coke said in an email.
    "We are thrilled with the new projectors. The picture and sound are amazing, and everything is automated.
    "We program the show times for the week, and the projectors take over from there. No user intervention is required."
    The new Canadian-built Christie Solaria One projectors – not much larger than a breadbox – eliminate the need for large, bulky reels, which have been replaced with digital disks. The camera operator simply slides in a disk, taps a few directions into a tiny screen and the show is ready to go.
    Projection "is no longer mechanical," Coke said. "It's all digital now."
    The new era of projectors replace three bulky behemoths that stand about six feet high.
    Coke said they have no resale value so he's keeping them.
    "For one thing, they're too big to take downstairs," he said. "The film projector for the big theater we will keep just as a novelty. And, if we need it to show films we will have it."
    There's plenty of room off the two projection rooms to store the other two.

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