Thanks to the generosity of several area organizations, Pella Cinemas has taken a major step to ensure a higher quality movie experience. Jim Nicholas, with Dream Star Cinemas, manages the theatre owned by the Pella Community Betterment Organization. He said, “The movie industry has undergone a lot of change in recent years, and one of the most dramatic is the transition from movies being created using 35mm film format to digital format. Although a final date has not been announced, it is anticipated that sometime during 2013 or early 2014 new movies will no longer be produced using film. What that means is that any theatre wanting to show first-run movies has to have equipment that accepts the digital format.”
Grants from local organizations made the conversion to the new equipment possible. Those supporting the effort include Vermeer Charitable Foundation, Central College, Kuyper Foundation, Pella Community Foundation, Marion County Community Foundation, and the Pella Rolscreen Foundation. “The theatre is a community treasure,” said Central College President Dr. Mark Putnam, who also serves as president of the Community Betterment Organization. “It’s an amenity that’s important to our students and staff and the community at large. The prospect of no longer being able to show first-run movies meant that action was needed fairly quickly. Pella groups recognized the importance of this upgrade, and we’re very grateful for the response that enabled us to proceed with this major conversion.”
As plans for the equipment were being developed, it was decided to go one step further and add 3D capability to one of the theatres. It has proved to be popular and provides an added dimension of enjoyment for patrons. “Thanks to Jim and his crew, the equipment was installed in a matter of days, which prevented any disruption to scheduled movies,” said Putnam.
Nicholas added, “We’re very pleased with the new equipment. It gives us the ability to show the same movie in more than one theatre at a time and to show it in 3D on one screen and show it in another theatre in standard digital format. The $1.50 up-charge for 3D is considerably less than many theatres charge. We’re committed to keeping the cost affordable while saving people the need to drive out of town to enjoy the latest movies and a 3D experience. The response has been excellent during the busy holiday season, and we’re looking forward to bringing the type of movies to Pella that people request. We really appreciate all the support that enabled this upgrade to happen.”