For the local community, that's news in and of itself. And my immediate thought was, "Hopefully the new owner will pave the parking lot" because the large lot on the north side of the building is rife with potholes.
But they really could be the least of our worries. It dawned on me that small theaters are facing some dire decisions about buying and installing digital projectors. I've heard about this in the news over the past six months, and the economic impact could be great.
As this USA Today article explains, digital movie projectors cost between $50,000 and $70,000. With eight theaters at MoviE-Town, that's potentially $350,000 -- not a small investment.
My fear, and I'm sure the fear of other locals, is that this could force MoviE-Town to close. After thinking this through, I see three options:
- The current owners pony up the money to buy digital equipment. But I have a feeling that's why they're trying to sell the theater now.
- A new owner buys the theater and makes the investment in digital equipment.
- The theater closes because no one wants to buy digital projection and make the necessary improvements to the parking lot and upgrade the interior (because, let's be honest, MoviE-Town is showing a fair amount of wear and tear after more than a decade in business).
Let's hope some local businesspeople see the same value and are willing to make the investment and keep MoviE-Town open.