Around £13 million (€19 million) of National Lottery money will be spent on installing 250 digital projectors in UK cinemas.
Apart from some quality improvements, the main benefit here is that distribution costs for films plummet – there are no expensive reels of film to cart around, and the number of screens a film can be shown on is not limited to the number of prints in existence. At upwards of £1000 (€1472) a print, it can be very costly to get enough copies together to secure a decent cinema release.
Hopefully, this means we’ll be able to see Wings of Desire in the cinema a bit more often.
Anyone who has seen a digitally projected film knows that improved quality is not always the case – there can be digital artefacts and some colour washout, so it’s not a case of digital better than film yet.
To qualify for the money, cinemas will set aside a portion of screen time to niche films, so that customers will have more rewarding fare to watch than the usual brain-devouring noise.
This new move will put the UK well ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to digital projection – there are currently only 190 digital cinema projectors around the world, with about a dozen in the UK.