Having just watched Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince screened digitally, I feel compelled to wax lyrically about the benefits of digital cinema.
Some purists will always prefer the traditional 35mm format, and I have nothing against it. I have seen some of my favourite films this way and it can actually add character to old, classic films when the 'cigarette burn' (as Tyler Durden in Fight Club would call it) pops up in the corner at a reel change.
However digital cinema has so many positive aspects about it;
1) Quality - It is obvious as soon as you see a film on digital compared to 35mm, how much better the quality is is terms of visual and sound. It is like comparing Blu Ray and DVD.
2) Longevity - With a digital film it is uploaded onto the server and the quality is perfect, from the very first show to the last. You don't get the scratches and damage you would get from general wear and tear of multiple performances and making up and breaking down the print as it moves from site to site.
3) Affordability - We have noticed that many of the smaller distribution companies are issuing their films on the digital format. Rather than investing in producing several dozen physical copies of a 35mm print, they can make just a few digital drives that go from cinema to cinema being uploaded onto their central server. This will vastly reduce their costs, and is more environmentally friendly I'm sure. The only disadvantage is that with only one digital projector (at the moment) we can end up screening great quality films to a relatively small audience in our largest screen, either that or we do really well with Potter.
The result is that we will be screening a lot more films on digital in the future (so look in our brochure where they will be advertised as such).
Now if only I can get an IMAX screen into the cinema?!