The old 35mm projector at one of Britain’s oldest working cinemas has been retired and replaced with a new digital projector.
Theatr Colwyn in Colwyn Bay is one of the last local cinemas in Wales to join the digital era, having used 35mm projectors to screen films since it first opened in 1909.
James Bond film Skyfall was the final film to be screened on the 35mm projector, which was then replaced by a brand new projector funded by grants from the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government.
Theatre manager, Phil Batty, said that the move had been inevitable but became urgent when distributors started cutting back the number of films they issued on 35mm film.
“Everything must progress, but it’s still sad. I remember when we put that projector in – six of us had to carry it up the stairs,” he told the BBC. “What we have now is cutting edge technology – the best projectors available today. We saw some of the early tests, and the picture quality is stunning.”
Projectionist, John Carroll, who has worked in cinemas since he was 14, said that the move has redefined his role.
“It’ s going to be a lot more automated – we won’t be sticking reels of film together like we used to,” he explained. “We still have the responsibility to make sure the sound and picture quality are right, and that everything goes smoothly.”