Langley’s Twilight Drive-In goes digital

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      Congratulations to the Twilight Drive-In in Langley. A press release yesterday announced that one of the last outdoor picture shows in the BC (we’re not forgetting you, Starlight Drive-In, Enderby) is making the switch from film to a fancy new digital projector.

      The shift to digital has been happening for some years now, with studios preferring the massively reduced cost of shipping their films either online or by hard drive instead of in those big, sexy hexagonal film canisters that make your heart quicken with joy and anticipation when you see them. The hard truth is that the Twilight needed to convert in order to survive.

      But we’re not gonna lie. Some over-nostalgic Straight staffers feel a small ache with every new incursion of the digital realm into our happy-crusty place where movies look scratched and washed out, sound like shit, and Burt Reynolds is considered the ne plus ultra of masculine style. Plus, you go to the drive-in for a dirty finger-bang in the back seat, not for picture quality, or even for cost-cutting measures foisted on exhibitors by the top down Hollywood mob—but we digress.

      We’ll still be there for the Twilight when the last reel of 35 mm film passes through the gate, specifically with the final showing of 21 Jump Street double-billed with The Lorax, next Thursday (April 19). And we’ll be there after, too—provided the concessions at least remain greasy, salty, and analog. Cause there are some improvements we definitely won’t stand for.



      Vivian Pencz

      Apr 12, 2012 at 10:38pm

      As a former projectionist (basically, digital machines stole my livelihood), I know what you mean about the heart-quickening-ness of those old film canisters. Still, there is sadly nothing sexy about dragging those impossibly heavy things up and down hallways all day. More like annoying/dusty/almost-cut-my-finger-off-again.

      Ben Gazarra

      Apr 18, 2012 at 9:59am

      Digital projection an improvement? Clearly you are uninformed about the hidden costs of digital projection. Quality and otherwise. Here is a recent article from LA Weekly that might help you understand seeing as you obviously don't know what you're talking about.

      Not only that but 35mm prints haven't been using an optical track for sound for quite some time so please tell me where the last place was that you heard this "shitty sound."

      Also, with the exception of repertory cinemas when was the last time you saw a print of a film "washed out and scratched up"?