At a recent screening of "Lincoln" at the Village Picture Shows, the message was delivered to the audience that survival of our theatre is being threatened by technology. Reel to reel projection is being phased out in favor of digital systems and the mantra for this phenomenon (affecting hundreds of theaters across the US) has come to be known as "Go Digital or Go Dark." Not an option for the Manchester region.
The Village Picture Shows is part of the community infrastructure and social fabric for our region. Guests and residents alike from Manchester and surrounding communities (we are Arlingtonians) patronize the theatre. Before we moved to Arlington from a major metropolitan area, we were thrilled to find there was a movie theatre close to our future home and it was comforting that it wasn't a 12-plex cinema but a real community gathering place.
While we can watch movies on our TV's, our phones, tablets, computers and a host of other devices, nothing replaces a movie screen, spectacular sound and the silent camaraderie of sharing the experience with others. "Lincoln" was a riveting film and as we left small groups formed commenting to each other about what we had just seen this happens only in a theatre.
Our theatre is run as a community service and if the technology replacement can be funded, it will continue to run as a community service. It will continue to serve as the entertainment hub for all ages particularly our young people. So "going dark is not an option."
Let's all get behind this Kickstarter campaign (www.kickstarter.com/projects/villagepictureshows/digitize-village-picture-shows) and save our theatre. This is an investment we can't afford not to make for something we can't afford to lose!
Berta and Scoop Maginniss