State offers grants to rural theaters | Today’s News | Northern Colorado Business Report

The state of Colorado is offering grants to nonprofit and commercial rural Colorado movie theaters as they switch to digital equipment now required by the film industry.

The Rural theater Digital Conversion Grant will provide cinemas with the opportunity to receive funds ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 to assist with the acquisition of equipment necessary for digital format.

The grant is being offered by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), Colorado Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC), Denver Film Society, Downtown Colorado Inc., Gates Foundation and Boettcher Foundation.

“The economic development benefits from this grant are multi-faceted – from direct job retention to ensuring our smaller communities have a place to celebrate arts and culture,” said Ken Lund, executive director of OEDIT.

Cinemas are switching to digital format, which requires digital cinema projectors valued between $60,000 and $70,000 each. Film distributors have stopped carrying traditional prints because of the digital conversion, requiring theaters to buy digital projectors and putting small cinemas in a financial bind.

In an effort to aid rural theaters in the digital conversion, $200,000 was approved by the Colorado Economic Development Commission (EDC) from the Strategic Fund Initiative and the Denver Film Society, with additional funding from the Boettcher Foundation and the Gates Family Foundation.

“Local small town cinemas are a key amenity for local workforce retention and play a crucial role in enhancing culture and providing a strong sense of place,” said Donald Zuckerman, Colorado film commissioner.

Cinemas can apply for grant funding here. Whether a theater receives a grant will depend on demand and location, as well as additional requirements, including a contribution of $10,000 from rural theaters.

via State offers grants to rural theaters | Today’s News | Northern Colorado Business Report.

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