As holiday blockbusters like James Cameron's Avatar and Roland Emmerich epic 2012 are rolled out, a selection of cinemas across the pond have begun switching to digital projectors to maximise the pictures and sound enjoyed by audiences. Representatives for east coast chain Franks Theatres say the digital machines will also require less maintenance than their 35mm counterparts.

Commenting on the installation of Sony 4k digital projectors, owner Deborah Frank confirmed to reporters that the picture and sound they provide "is far more superior than anything else we've ever seen".

"The difference is like keeping an old television set in your home or going for a flat screen with HD - it just looks much better," she remarked to Press of Atlantic City.

Frank Theatres technician Thomas Murphy added that, instead of movies arriving at cinemas in reams of film that have to be spliced together, they come on a hard drive to be downloaded into the digital projectors using a USB cable.

"If a movie is an hour and a half long, it only takes us an hour and a half to ingest it," he concluded. "You can even load it when another movie is playing on the projector."