Fight to Survive
drive under way to help
keep Ohio Theatre open
must convert to
digital projection by 2013 or close
(august 2012) The movie industry is making
its biggest change since silent films became talkies, and
Madisons historic Ohio Theatre is in the crosshairs. The 1938
theater must convert to digital projection and sound by 2013 or permanently
close its doors.
To make that transition, a unique fundraising effort has kicked off
The industry is switching from traditional 35mm film to digital sound
and projection with extreme speed. Already 75 percent of American theaters
have upgraded to digital equipment. By early 2013, movies will no longer
be available in 35mm film.
by Don Ward
visitors to the
area since 1938.
Many small town theaters will close due to the digital
revolution, said Tony Ratcliff, who runs the Ohio Theatre with
his wife, Laura. Like many of them, were a small family-owned
business. We dont have the corporate backing of the major chains
to make this transition on our own.
Converting to digital is an expensive proposition. The upgrade will
cost $85,000 for the Ohios main auditorium and an additional $65,000
for the balcony auditorium. Ratcliff said the fundraising efforts
first goal will be to raise the $25,000 down payment by Aug. 31.
Digital will bring a whole new realm of entertainment to Madison,
said Laura Ratcliff. Youll be able to watch ultra-sharp
films with high quality digital sound. 3-D will pop off the screen.
We will even feature content not seen in Madison before from
Broadway shows to live concerts.
She added that the Ohio Theatre will keep its 35mm equipment so it can
continue showing classic films.
The upgrade will include installing new 3-D capable digital projection
systems, new digital surround sound, new screens, as well as wiring,
networking, venting and other infrastructure needed to support the new
The Ratcliffs say they hope area residents will embrace the unique fundraising
effort. We have created Internet site www.SaveTheOhio.com, where
individuals can help the fund drive by purchasing packages for which
they can receive a direct reward, Tony Ratcliff explained. All
the contributions are being kept in a special bank account. Once we
reach the goal, we will send out the rewards to contributors. If the
goal is not met, everyones money will be returned. Its a
win-win for everyone.
Rewards range from a couples night out with popcorn and drinks
to private screenings and all-you-can watch films for a year. There
is also be a special Friends of the Ohio membership group
that will include special events including a ticket to the digital premiere
gala tentatively planned for November.
The Ratcliffs are also welcoming investors and have created special
reward packages for area companies.
Contributions can be made at SaveTheOhio.com by clicking the Help
Since 1938, the Ohio Theatre has been at the heart of downtown
Madison, Tony Ratcliff said. This theater has entertained
with movies, plays and concerts. Downtown businesses and restaurants
depend on the crowds attending the Ohio. Its vital that Madison
keep the Ohio Theatre alive for the generations to come!
For more information call Tony or Laura Ratcliff
at (812) 273-4821 or email us at email@example.com
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