IN what Fenwick 3 Cinemas manager Richard Bradbury has termed “the end of an era”, 35mm film will no longer be played on our big screens and will be replaced by an entirely digital set up.
The final film run on 35mm was Taken 2, screened to an audience otherwise unaware they had witnessed the final screening on a film type now obsolete in Esperance.
Mr Bradbury said the decision to eliminate the 35mm film from the production room means films will be far cheaper to produce.
“Where films used to arrive weighing 20-25kg each, we’ve now replaced them with a 1-2kg hard drive,” he said.
Previously the 35mm film would arrive in six separate reels, which would then be spliced (joined) and framed.
“The frames would all need to be lined up, which was a time-consuming practice in itself, particularly if it was a film shot largely in the dark or at night,” Mr Bradbury said.
“The reels would come with a header and a footer, but some were reversed, meaning you were often forced to reverse them again before they could be joined.
“It was a complicated process and meant it would take 1-2 hours to put a film together.”
In a stark comparison to previous years, Mr Bradbury said a playlist now only takes 15 minutes to put together.
The new digital changeover means Mr Bradbury and staff can download the new releases into a library and make up a playlist, detailing the order of advertisements, the trailers and the movie itself - interspersed with light dimming and curtain opening.
“The new digital film means we can run everything automatically and can spend more time focusing on our main bar and customer service,” he said.
Fenwick 3 Cinemas has been in Esperance since 2003 and shows on average 60 films in an average week and up to 130