Base Cinemas’ Digital Death

The base cinema at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., is closing, along with movie halls across the country, as the film industry transitions to digital instead of 35-millimeter projection film, reports South Dakota’s Rapids City Journal. Upgrading the movie theater with new digital movie equipment would cost approximately $120,000, which neither the base nor the Army Air Force Exchange Service was willing to invest giving dwindling audiences, according to the newspaper’s Jan. 7 report. The cinema will close for good on Jan. 21. Over the past few months, several installations, including Dyess AFB, Tex., and Maxwell AFB, Ala., have shuttered cinema doors for similar reasons, according to press reports. The movie theater at Scott AFB, Ill., showed its final film on Dec. 30, according to a Jan. 7 report from the Belleville News-Democrat. (Includes Abilene Reporter-News report and Maxwell report by Rebecca Burylo.)