Digital projection and 3D movies are coming soon to the Odyssey Theatre Lafayette Square 7 in Marietta, where crews began replacing the theater's old 35mm celluloid projectors Monday.
"By this weekend we expect to have the projectors up and running in all seven theaters," said Gary Westmark, vice president of operations for Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.-based CineMagic Theatres.
He said the new Barco DLP digital projection system will provide a much brighter picture with more vibrant colors and higher resolution than the current film projectors that have been in service since CineMagic took over operations from Regal Cinemas in April 2010.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Christian Hudspeth, associate with the Odyssey Theatre Lafayette Square 7 in Marietta, is shown beside one of the theater’s new Barco DLP digital projectors. In his hand is the unit that will replace the multiple reels of celluloid film used in the theater’s old 35mm projection system.
"There are no scratches, no dust on the film, because there is no film," Westmark said. "We're also installing new digital sound systems and speakers. The old speakers often cannot handle the digital output."
When the work is completed, the Odyssey Theatre will be the first facility in the area to have total digital projection throughout the theater.
In addition to the digital upgrades, Westmark said two special 3D screens are being installed that will enable the theater to show RealD 3D movies, and the first 3D showing at the Odyssey will likely be "The Hobbit," which opens Dec. 14.
About the change
Digital projection of movies at all seven theaters in Marietta's Odyssey Theatre is expected to begin this weekend.
Ticket prices will remain the same for the new digital projection and sound format.
Current ticket prices are $6.50 for adults for matinees, $7.75 for adults in the evening, with children and seniors $6.
Tickets for 3D movies, which will also be shown at the Odyssey in coming weeks, will cost $2.50 more than regular admission
"With 3D you lose 30 to 40 percent from the light source, so it requires a special silver screen to increase the light impact," he said. "Studios are putting out a lot more movies in 3D, so it's a format we have to provide to keep up with the market."
David Oliver, general manager at the Marietta Odyssey, said patrons have been asking when the theater would begin digital projections and offering 3D movies.
"They know digital is a better format," he said. "But our installation was almost pushed back two weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit New York."
Westmark explained the equipment had to be shipped into New York before coming to the Marietta theater.
Oliver said business has been steady, and there has even been some growth since CineMagic took over in 2010, but he expects business will pick up with installation of the new system.
"Next week is going to be really busy as the new 'Twilight, Breaking Dawn Part 2' begins Friday," he said.
CineMagic operates theaters in five states, and Westmark said all are being upgraded to digital projection and sound systems.
He said new seating and other improvements are also coming to the Marietta theater.
"The first improvement we made here was to lower the admission cost," Westmark said, adding that there will be no increase in ticket prices due to installation of the new digital format.
But he said customers can expect an increase of about $2.50 for 3D movies shown at the theater.