We've Gone Digital

THANK YOU TO OUR MEMBERS AND FRIENDS YOUR 2,687 GIFTS HAVE SAVED THE AMBLER THEATER We are happy to announce that on January 1, 2013, the Ambler Theater officially unveiled its new Digital Cinema projectors and equipment. We have successfully converted from film to Digital Cinema. Thank you for making this happen.

Thank You Thank you to everyone who helped make this campaign such a great community-based success. Thank you for your support when we needed it most – when the future of the Ambler Theater depended on it. Together we have met this challenge and together we will move into an exciting new digital future. Please view our honor roll for a list of all campaign supporters.

THE CAMPAIGN WAS A HUGE SUCCESS As of December 31, 2012, our Digital Cinema Campaign raised a total of $376,000 from 2,687 gifts, 86% of which were from members. Thank you for your support. This total exceeded our goal. Our success resulted from 18 months of work by our board and staff and from the generous support of our members and friends. All funds raised were needed and all funds raised were earmarked for Digital Cinema. (See below for more information on the campaign, its history and goals.)

THE COST OF DIGITAL CINEMA INCREASED Our fundraising success is fortunate, because the actual cost of our Digital Cinema installation increased. As of December 31, 2012, we've spent $367,000 on the Digital Cinema conversion (leaving $9,000 for final work). All of our expenditures have been prudent and forward-looking. Our original budget, set 18 months ago, was $300,000. The actual cost increased for two reasons. First, we did a more complete conversion, including a 4K resolution projector (with 3D capability) in the big theater, 2K resolution projectors (with 4K upgradability) in the other two theaters, new screens (better suited for digital cinema) in all theaters, and various other items. Second, the scope of electrical and computer work was more extensive than anticipated.

THEY'RE COMPUTERS Digital Cinema is entirely computer based, and, like all computers, the purchase price is just the beginning of the cost. We will now need to budget for servicing and, ultimately, for replacing these new projectors (in 5-10 years). Welcome to the brave new digital world!

More Information We have more information about our campaign and conversion below. We also have written up "The Ambler Theater's Digital Cinema Conversion" in a separate blog post, which is a "case study" to converting to Digital Cinema for Art House Theaters. We suggest that you read the details below, first.

Thank You, Again The Ambler Theater is a nonprofit, community-owned theater. It is your theater and we couldn't have met this existential challenge without your support. Thank you!

More Details on Digital Cinema and Our Campaign

Our full campaign was over 18 months long and exceeded our goal We started planning the Digital Cinema Campaign in May of 2011. We kicked off the campaign on September 1, 2011 and officially concluded it on December 31, 2012. Our goal was $300,000. Through November 1, 2012, we had raised $250,000. We launched our final 2012 year-end appeal on November 1st, asking for $50,000 to "put us over the top." We surpassed that goal with a 2012 year-end total of $126,000 to reach our grand total of $376,000 on December 31, 2012.

We installed our Digital Cinema projectors early We installed our Digital Cinema projectors and other equipment during the last week in November and were fully projecting Digital Cinema on December 1, 2012. This was earlier than planned, because of the limited availability of our busy booth technicians. We weren't sure when they would next be free, so we decided to do it then. We especially didn't want to wait until 2013, because we were increasingly worried about the availability of film prints. We had already lost one movie, Argo, in October, because we couldn't show it in the Digital Cinema format, and we didn't want to lose a big year-end film like Hitchcock or Hyde Park on Hudson or Zero Dark Thirty. The era of film projection is rapidly coming to an end and we didn't want to be left behind. The timing was that tight.

Our Digital Cinema installation is not finished Even though the Digital Cinema projectors are in and running, we still have some final detail work to do on the system, mostly in the area of computer networking. The final work will be completed in early 2013.

Our official announcement Our Digital Cinema announcement was made on January 4th, 2013, after our Digital Cinema Campaign was completed (on December 31, 2012) and after the projectors were installed (on December 1, 2012). The campaign finished with a tremendous December push, exceeding our goal and meeting our increased expenses. Thank you, thank you for your help in making that happen. Thank you for putting the Digital Cinema Campaign "over the top."