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Norton Theater Update

THIS YEAR, 2012, MARKS THE TWENTIETH YEAR SINCE THE NORTON THEATRE WAS REMODELED AND REOPENED IN MAY OF 1993.  WHILE NOT A LOT OF THINGS HAVE CHANGED AT THE NORTON THEATRE OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS, MOVIES ARE CURRENTLY UNDERGOING A DRASTIC CHANGE AND THE BOARD IS CURRENTLY WORKING ON A FUNDRAISER TO MAKE SEVERAL IMPROVEMENTS THAT WILL KEEP THE THEATER PLAYING MOVIES WELL INTO THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS AND BEYOND.  OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS, THE FORMAT OF MOVIES IS UNDERGOING A CHANGE FROM 35 MM OR 70 MM FILM TO 100% DIGITAL PROJECTION.  FOR WELL OVER 100 YEARS, MOVIES HAVE BEEN PROJECTED ONTO THE BIG SCREEN WITH FILM VIA THE USE OF CARBON ARC PROJECTORS (POPULAR UP TO THE 1980’S) OR A PLATTER SYSTEM WHERE THE ENTIRE MOVIE IS TAPED TOGETHER ON A GIANT TURNTABLE AND PLAYED SEAMLESSLY (POPULAR TODAY).  CURRENTLY, THE NORTON THEATRE HAS THIS TYPE OF SYSTEM.  RECENTLY, THEATRES HAVE BEEN CONVERTING TO AN ALL DIGITAL SYSTEM OF MOVIE PROJECTION.  MOVIES ARE NOW BEING CARRIED ON A COMPUTERIZED HARD DRIVE (APPROXIMATELY THE SIZE OF A BOOK) AND DOWNLOADED ONTO A COMPUTERIZED PROJECTOR.  WITHIN TWO MORE YEARS, THEY WILL BE DELIVERED TO THE COMPUTERIZED PROJECTOR THROUGH A SATELLITE RECEIVER.  AT THIS TIME, NORTON IS THE ONLY THEATRE IN THE AREA WITHOUT ANY DIGITAL PROJECTION CAPABILITIES.  CURRENT ESTIMATES ARE FOR ALL FILM PRINTS TO BECOME EXTINCT BY THE END OF 2013.  SOME INDUSTRY EXPERTS BELIEVE IT COULD OCCUR AS EARLY AS NEXT SUMMER.  WITHOUT DIGITAL CINEMA CAPABILITIES, THE THEATER WILL LOSE THE STATUS AS ONE OF THE PREMIERE THEATRES IN NORTHWEST KANSAS.  THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS, THE THEATER IS IN NEED OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FROM THE PUBLIC TO KEEP THE NORTON THEATRE A VITAL LANDMARK AND ENTERTAINMENT FACILITY IN ALL OF NORTHWEST KANSAS.  OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, WE HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL IN GAINING FUNDS THROUGH VARIOUS GRANTS AND THEREFORE, WE ARE REACHING OUT FOR COMMUNITY SUPPORT.  TO CONVERT BOTH THEATRE SCREENS TO DIGITAL, WE ARE IN NEED OF $150,000.  THE GOAL IS TO RAISE APPROXIMATELY $150,000 TOWARDS DIGITAL PROJECTION EQUIPMENT (TWO DIGITAL CINEMA PROJECTORS-APPROX. $67,500 FOR EACH PROJECTOR, SOUND COMPONENT UPGRADES FOR DIGITAL CINEMA IN THE EAST THEATRE, COMPLETE UPGRADE FROM A HOME THEATRE SYSTEM TO DIGITAL 5.1 SURROUND SOUND IN THE WEST THEATRE-APPROX. $11,000, AND 2 SILVER SCREENS FOR PROPER 3D REFLECTION-APPROX. $1700 EACH).  MORE DETAILS WILL BE FORTHCOMING ON WAYS TO DONATE AND VARIOUS FUND RAISERS THAT WILL BE HELD.