Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Kyabram's Plaza Theatre goes digital

Kyabram Plaza Theatre has installed new digital sound and vision systems.

February 26, 2014 4:33am

Kyabram Plaza Theatre management committee volunteers Kevin Simmons and Ray Muller with the theatre's new digital projector.


Kyabram Plaza Theatre can screen new release movies sooner thanks to a major upgrade to its visual and audio systems.

Instead of having to wait a month or more to screen new movies, the theatre is hoping to have them within a week or two of release at larger cinemas.

The theatre has replaced its 35mm projectors with a new computerised digital projector and also installed a new digital surround-sound system to provide high quality sound to match the vision.

The changeover has been done thanks to numerous hours of local volunteer help and has taken several months to complete at a cost of more than $100000, which the theatre’s own operating funds and a $2000 community grant from Campaspe Shire Council funded.

It included installing many kilometres of new wiring, speakers and amplifiers, and an air-conditioning unit to ensure an optimal temperature is maintained for the equipment.

Before the upgrade, movies were screened using two projectors to achieve a smooth transition between different film reels.

However, the gradual phase out of 35mm film meant new digital projection equipment was needed to enable the theatre to continue bringing movies to the Kyabram and district community.

Theatre volunteer Lisa Ratcliffe said the new equipment was a vast improvement on the old technology and movie-goers would enjoy the improved quality as well as being able to see new releases sooner.

‘‘We’re still a bit at the mercy of the distributors, but this month the Plaza has already featured a number of recent releases including Saving Mr Banks and The Railway Man, and this past week The Book Thief,’’ Mrs Ratcliffe said.

‘‘We had over 100 people here for The Railway Man and we haven’t had numbers like that for a long time.’’

Mrs Ratcliffe said the new equipment also offered local businesses a new advertising opportunity.

‘‘Any business which has had a TV commercial produced in the past can have it converted to cinema format and have it screened at regular and special movie sessions,’’ she said.

Kyabram Plaza Theatre was re-opened in 1983 following a complete renovation and fit out, again through many hours of volunteer work.

Win tickets

To mark the installation of the new sound and vision equipment, the Free Press has six cinema vouchers to give away. Put your name, address and contact number on an original masthead from this week’s Free Press and put it in the entry box at the Free Press office at 287 Allan St.

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