May 24--CHATHAM -- The board of the Chatham Orpheum Theater is giving the place an added dimension.
Orpheum president Naomi Turner said the theater will have HD digital projection capable of showing films in 3-D when it opens this summer, a feature that followed the selection of Jacobs Entertainment Inc. as the theater's professional film buyer.
Turner said that Jeffrey Jacobs, president of Golden, Colo.-based Jacobs Entertainment, suggested the 3-D digital upgrade during a meeting with the Orpheum's board of directors this past April.
Turner said in a phone interview that Jacobs' expertise on the subject "struck a chord" with the board.
"Apparently, between now and December, there are something like 19 films which are going to be released in 3-D," Turner said. "With this state-of-the art technology, the theater will have an advantage in providing our audience with first-rate, first-run films."
With the upgrade in technology, the theater will also need to raise the construction budget by $20,000.
But Turner said the expense is far less than what older theaters must pay to upgrade and retrofit to 3-D projection equipment.
"A lot of the theaters around the country are struggling because they are trying to convert to HD and it is costing a lot of money," said Turner. "We will be HD from the start and have 3-D capability for both of our movie screens. That's an advantage for the future and we are in very good shape."
Turner also emphasized that the 3-D capabilities would add to the theater's ability to provide options for "audience enjoyment," and that art house films will still be offered along with commercial films.
"In the summer, we have a big family audience with a lot of children, and family-oriented films and the 3-D capabilities will help us survive financially," she said. "But there is also a large population of very intelligent, sophisticated people looking for good cinema, so we want to offer both and be both things for all of the markets."
The theater, projected to open for business in mid-July, has been under construction since January. In order to meet the deadline, a construction crew is working double shifts.
Timothy Roper, interim director of the theater, said since the renovations have been ongoing, now is the "perfect time" to install 3-D digital projection.
"The 3-D installation wasn't originally anticipated, but now we will be a top priority with film distributors," Roper said. "Since we are still building the interior, adding this type of technology was an easy decision. It costs more, but the investment will be better in the long run."
Several Cape theaters already offer 3-D films, including Regal's locations in the Cape Cod Mall and Mashpee Commons, Sandwich Heritage Theatres and Entertainment Cinemas in South Dennis.
(c)2013 the Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.)
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