Ocean Shores Cinema goes digital

Ocean Shores Cinemas has joined the “Digital Cinema” age with the installation of three all-new digital cinema and Dolby Surround systems at

With the introduction of this new state-of-the-art equipment, the theater will no longer present traditional “film” movies. All presentations will now be via NEC projectors that are essentially large computers/projectors coupled with new sound processors.

Digital cinema is now being introduced in movie theaters around the world and features a clear, brighter image without many of the issues of film which in the past included scratches, fading and occasional film breaks and jams in the older 35mm projectors, the company said. The systems also offer extended presentation capabilities, including 3D features (coming soon to Ocean Shores) and additional entertainment options like live Operas, sporting events, concerts and other special content.

Jeff Brein, managing partner of Far Away Entertainment that operates Ocean Shores Cinemas, is a supporter of the new technology and the benefits it delivers to audiences.

“Movie-goers will certainly see the difference in quality, presentation and sound. These projectors represent a giant step forward in presenting a perfectly flawless cinema experience for each and every movie,” he said in a statement.

While no ticket price increases are planned there will be a nominal surcharge in the future for 3D films. Ocean Shores Cinemas plans to keep its 3D fees well below those of the major chains in nearby communities.

Funding for the digital conversion is managed through an industry partnership between theaters and movie studios that pay a “virtual print fee” for every digital film shown. Reimbursements over a six-year period cover the costs of the new equipment.

Ocean Shores manager Cindy Harold showed off the three new projectors last week. They can easily be loaded with what are the equivalent of portable mini-hard drives downloaded into a computer, and the result is movies without scratches and perfectly clear, brilliant definition on the screen.

“It’s very sharp and clear,” Harold said. “I’ve seen a couple of movies already and they have been very clear and brighter.”

Harold sees a lot of movies and the difference has been noticeable. So far the digital movies she has seen in the first week have included Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Silver Linings Playbook.

“It’s like a big giant computer,” she explained of the new process, a far cry from the work of projectionists of the past. “You download it, and then we have to program it.”

The old process involved reels of 35mm film that would then have to be spliced together, then put back together to return when the showing was over. It also involved threading through the projector so it would run through the machine and then rewind.

“Here, you can rewind and fast forward just like a giant DVD player,” Harold said.

The new capability also allows the theater to do special shows like birthday parties, or even to feature older movies, which are far easier to get and show with the new digital system.

“We can now show films if someone wants a special show of some kind or if a group wants to schedule something,” she said.

The theater is located at 631 Point Brown Avenue in Ocean Shores. For more information about movies and showtimes, call (360) 289-1234.