As regular readers of Popcorn N Roses and regular listeners of Subject:CINEMA know, Kim and I have become very active supporters in two areas in the last year – theater preservation/restoration/rescuing and film preservation. Our interest in these two subjects was minimal at best until 2011, when we happened across three documentary films that changed our perspective forever – Preserve Me A Seat, These Amazing Shadows, and Decasia.
Last summer, we did a series of Subject:CINEMA podcasts devoted to the subjects, and since that time, we have done a Save Our Screens segment on the show, spotlighting theaters that are in need of help from the public. At the time we launched those podcast reports, I secured various SaveOurScreens domains because I had a feeling that a full site devoted to the topic would eventually become needed.
I was right – but not for the reasons I anticipated at the time.
While SOS will still be devoted to helping theaters with getting attention for their needs for help renovating and restoring, for preventing closure, and for fighting the wrecking ball, the needs have become far more urgent.
Late last year, the major film studios announced that as of the end of 2013, they would no longer support theaters that were running actual 35mm film. Over the past two weeks, there have been a whole slew of articles throughout both print and web media focusing on the dire needs of theaters in the US that are small and that will have a hard time meeting the expenses to switch to all digital film delivery.
Quite honestly, without the mom-and-pop theater, the industry will slowly fade into a maze of conglomeration. Art houses will be gone except for those who can afford the conversion, and the Landmark chain of indie-specializing theatres. Repertory houses will also be long gone unless they can convert – thankfully most of the Boston area rep theaters – The Brattle, The Coolidge Corner, and others – have mostly already converted to DVD systems, which will make things a bit easier on them.
But there are THOUSANDS of theaters – in both the United States and abroad throughout the world – who are going to have a rough time of it. And we’re determined to help them.
Since last summer, even though we operate on a very meager budget, we have managed to make donations to over a dozen theaters, and will continue to donate whenever and whereever possible to help theaters with whatever they may need help with.
SOS is here to help bring their plight to the moviegoing public.
The site is in only its most embryonic stage now, but over the next few weeks and months, we hope to grow and expand the site to be able to offer news and information on how you can help too.
In addition, SOS will cover the field of film preservation when news is available, as well as historical aspects of theaters and the movie industry.
We will continue to do regular SOS features on Subject:CINEMA focusing on the entire plight as well as individual theaters, and if warranted, SOS may get it’s own PNR Networks podcast in the future.
We urge anyone and everyone interested in this dilemma, as well as those involved with theater restoration, renovation, and rescue, and film preservation, to link to us at http://saveourscreens.org, and to include us on their mailing lists so that we can keep PNR Networks followers up to date on what is happening in these fields. We also urge you to contact us at sos [at] popcornnroses.com with news tips and requests for links to sites that may fall into the interest of this site, and ideas to help SOS grow into a resource for these areas.
Kim and I both feel that we CAN help make a difference, and we believe that YOU can too! Our slogan is also the operations philosophy of SOS:
“You don’t have to live near a theater to help out, because someone who IS local will enjoy it for you.”
Together we can – AND WILL – make a difference!
TC Kirkham, Owner/Webmaster
On The Web: http://saveourscreens.org
SOS on The Air: http://subjectcinema.com