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4/28/2013 6:00:00 AM
Kingman Cinemas dump reels in pricey digital upgrade
Sharper image, more show times and more movies offered after $320,000 investment
General Manager Annette Post shows the difference between the old silver film reels used at Kingman Cinemas to run movies and the new digital cinema projector and server behind her that use a hard drive. Post said the digital system produces a clearer, brighter movie.JC AMBERLYN/Miner
General Manager Annette Post shows the difference between the old silver film reels used at Kingman Cinemas to run movies and the new digital cinema projector and server behind her that use a hard drive. Post said the digital system produces a clearer, brighter movie.
JC AMBERLYN/Miner
Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Kingman Cinemas has completed a $320,000 upgrade that its owner says will improve movie clarity and allow more flexibility in what the theater can show.

Tom Daugherty, co-owner with John Brenden, said the theater in March removed its old reel system and replaced it with four digital cinema projectors and servers. Each cost $80,000 and uses tiny hard drives instead of big metal film reels that, when loaded with film, can weigh 100 pounds.

"The issue is that by the end of the year, studios are going to stop making film," said Daugherty. "Film has been around forever, but the studios have decided to go digital because it's as good as or better than film. Digital is much easier for us, too, and movies will look great on the first day they're shown and three weeks later."

Daugherty said the new equipment allows the theater to be more flexible and play combinations of older and newer movies on multiple screens and for more times a day. With film reels, it takes an hour and a half to load a movie, trailer and pre-show. The new equipment decreases the loading time to 20 minutes. Also, taking a movie apart after showing it has shrunk from 45 minutes to zero.

"It's much easier," said general manager Annette Post. "You load the movie, download it to the server with the trailers and build the movie with cues that turn the lights down for the showing. You tell the server what to do. It's a big savings of time, and the movie is a much better quality. We're hearing lots of good comments from our customers."

Daugherty said movie studios are helping to defray the cost of installing the projectors and servers through a fee paid to theaters each time a movie is shown, but it isn't enough to cover the total cost. Daugherty said he is looking to do that through increased movie showings and adding sessions specifically for playing Christian-based movies, which have a big following in Kingman.

Also, he is considering the addition of midnight sessions during the summer for showing classic movies, such as "Scarface." Daugherty said his younger audience might enjoy staying up late to watch a series of movies at the theater. Also, he is interested in using the theater for business meetings where computers can be hooked into the new equipment for PowerPoint presentations.

"With the way times are now, you have to look at what you can do to increase revenue streams," said Daugherty. "We've added this equipment and we want to use it for the benefit of the theater and the community."



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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Article comment by: James Martin

The wife and I just got home from watching Ironman 3 in High Definition and what a thrill it was to actually see the movie as clear as it is on our HD TV at home. We will be going back this week to watch The Croods and Oblivion in HD. Now we don't have to spend an hour driving to and from Laughlin and paying their prices to see a movie that isn't in HD. On another note Kingman has grown and REALLY needs a newer and larger theater to meet the needs of the movie goers. I would gladly pay Laughlin prices to have a larger and more comfortable theater right here. "If you build it, they will come."

Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2013
Article comment by: jist me

hey dp, do you really think they are going to show up and charge 20 bucks a head when brenden actually charges a reasonable fee.

Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Harris

D.P., yea, where's our theater on HMR. We also need a grocery store.

Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

@ D.P. That new theatre will never be built because the people that wanted to build it basicly want someone to put up the money and property and rent it to them for next to nothing.

I am pleased to hear of the improvements at the theatre.

Now if the would fix the broken down seats, figure out a way to eliminate the stale smell, hire people to work in the concession and add an express ticket line where you don't wait for people buying the overpriced snacks, it might actually be a theatre worth visiting again.


Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Super G

Late night movies and Christian-based movie showings are great additions. Good thinking.

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: well, almost up to date

Kudos to Brenden Theaters for the tech update. HOWEVER, when are they going to actually update, and most of all, clean the bathrooms? They have not been updated since the old Cinemark. There is mold in the women's room, along with a smell that doesn't seem to come out. The floor is most disgusting and constantly very sticky. They need to tear down the moldy wall tile, replace the 20 coats of paint on the stalls and install new plumbing. Sorry for letting off steam on this, but we are at the movies at least twice a week and will continue to go. Thanks for your time.

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

As someone who was a projectionist at an old time theater in OH who made up and broke down many many films, I sorta miss the fact that film is going away. Being a projectionist was more than pushing a button and letting a computer do the work back then. Any old timers remember carbon arc projectors? Now that took a good touch.

That said...I'll look forward to the improvement in visual and audio quality of the movies and thank the owners for making the investment.


Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Nancy Kastle

This is great! I moved to the Kingman area last year, but I haven't been to the local movies, choosing to go to Laughlin or Vegas. Now that I know they have cared enough to upgrade their equipment, I will definately check out the Kingman Cinemas. Thanks to them!!!

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Now I Don't Have to Go To Laughlin

Thanks for investing in our community. It looks like the owner and management of the theater are smart business people. You have to invest in your business, modernize your business, and as Tom Daugherty said you have to constantly look at new revenue streams. He is very cleaver looking at trying to book business meeting and presentation - smart. Good Luck.

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Dannies Joy

It's about time! I cannot tell you all the times we've had to travel outside the area just to see a movie because local theater's did not have the current technology. This is great! We can now travel a short distance and keep the money we spend in the local economy.

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: Glenda Erwin

Thank you SO much for doing this.

Our last movie experience there, the James Bond film Skyfall, was such a disappointment due to the film track on the left side of the screen.

I just hope you don't raise the prices too much to cover the expense. But, whatever it is, it will still be a bargain.


Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Article comment by: D. P.

I do like the fact that they are upgrading but is there any update to the if and when's of the new theater that was being proposed over off of Hualapai Mnt Road?




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