Seen a Good Movie Lately?

Chances are, sometime over the holiday season you sat down with a loved one or two to watch a favorite Christmas film. For me it was a not so traditional Christmas movie, The Sound of Music that happened to be playing at a local restored movie palace Kiggins Theater in my hometown of Vancouver, WA this past December.

The 1930’s vintage movie palace went digital rather late in 2013 from a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the transition. Turns out viewing this re-mastered classic on a big screen movie palace from the 1930’s, in its new millennium digital format, was nothing short of transformative. The packed movie house erupted in applause at the film’s end, where I sat fully contented, stuffed with buttered popcorn and Jujubes candy.

In 2015, the 65mm film was re-mastered using 8K scans from large-format film elements, re-scaled to 4K for restoration and digital cinema mastering by Burbank, CA feature film lab, FotoKem. Colorist, Mark Griffith mastered the film from the downsampled 4K files, in a six month project using digital tools to address specific color concerns found in the source material, including flicker and variable color fading. Find more post production details on The Sound of Music here.

SOMSound of Music re-mastered for digital cinema release – Stunning

NATO, no the other one (the National Association of Theater Owners), based here in the US, tells us that movie going is on the rise, despite the declining theatrical release window, the growth in 4K HDR TVs, and growing video content streaming services. In 2013, media content films distributed to DVD trailed theatrical release by some 120 days, that number has shrunk to somewhere shy of 100 days over the past five years.

Source: national assoc. of theater owners (

Theater revenue is growing also, although the price of tickets has not kept pace with inflation according to the group. For example, in 1977 dollars the cost of a movie ticket was $2.23 and adjusted for inflation that number today would be $9.40 in 2017 dollars according to the group (see image below). Yet, the average ticket price for 2018 was just under $9.00 (at $8.97.) Meanwhile, the annual box office gross for 2018 here in the USA hit a recorded $11.86B based on comScore numbers as reported on the web site.


So all in all, there is no better time to see a remastered classic. In short, they look better than ever, and are less expensive to view than when first shown, especially if you can find one playing at a restored neighborhood movie palace. So go ahead, venture out and away from that new OLED set and get a feel again for the (really) big screen… and don’t forget the jujube’s. What a time to be alive. – Stephen Sechrist