The Cineworld cinema in Bolton is retiring the last of its 35mm film projectors this week in favour of ultra-modern digital alternatives.

The cinema’s manager, James Booth, said that the cinema has been gradually introducing digital projectors on its screens for the last few years, but that the last ones would be taken out of service this week. He added that the new projectors will offer viewers supreme quality images.

“They will blow Blu-ray out of the water,” Mr Booth told the Bolton News newspaper. “It is a bit like going from an ordinary television to HD.”

Head projectionist at the cinema, Matthew Briggs, said that the digital projectors are much more straightforward than the old film devices, but that the process has still required a few months of preparation work. The digital format will also require a change in Mr Briggs’s title – from ‘Projectionist’ to ‘Manager of Audio Visual’.

“It has gone from being really quite a manual job to a computerised job,” he says, “I will miss it, because it is a skill, an art form. Being a projectionist used to be a real apprenticeship. I have made it my aim, in the ten-and-a-half years I’ve been here, never to lose a show.”

Two film projectors are to be retained at the cinema is order to occasionally play old films that have not yet had their film converted into digital format.