It's no Hollywood script here - the harsh reality is that every movie theater inside the Adirondack Park may be closed down within a year and a half.
With new technology comes change, and with it, there are sometimes casualties. But it would be truly sad if Lake Placid were to lose the Palace Theatre. But that wouldn't be the only one to die. Movie theaters in AuSable Forks, Old Forge and Tupper Lake would be among those to shut down.
The issue of a road to death for small movie theaters such as those mentioned, stems from film industry's decision to switch distributing first-run features from 35 mm to digital projectors, which on average costs $100,000 to switch. The Palace has four screens ($400,000), the Hollywood in AuSable Forks has two ($200,000), the State in Tupper Lake has two ($200,000) and the Strand in Old Forge has four screens ($400,000). A cost factor far too steep for the owners of small theaters. The bigger multiplex theaters don't have to worry about getting the money.
Yes, movie theater owners have had a substantial amount of time to plan for the change, which hasn't gone into effect. And the topic was discussed in detail during the Lake Placid Film Forum in June. (LPN, June 8-14) But it is such a high hurdle, that it may take a last-minute plan to save the theaters inside the Adirondack Park.
Efforts are under way to save the theaters as the Adirondack Film Society and 13 North Country movie theaters have united to tackle the issue. A discussion was scheduled for Aug. 2 at the Palace Theatre that included its owner Reg Clark, Sierra Hanf, co-owner of the Hollywood Theatre in AuSable Forks; John Huttlinger,
president of the Adirondack Film Society; Nelson Page, vice president of the Adirondack Film Society and owner of the Galaxy Movie Theatres of Guttenberg, N.J.
Anyone who cherishes these small theaters should continue to follow the story.
Can the small theaters, including the one in Lake Placid, be saved? It may take something like a movie script in which monetary help comes in from an unexpected source,
Let's hope this is a story that has a happy