The Grand Theatre in Oelwein undergoes digital transformation - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

The Grand Theatre in Oelwein undergoes digital transformation


Out with the old film reels and in with new hard drives. All week, The Grand Theatre in Oelwein underwent a transformation to update projectors in its two theatres.

"We had to. They're not going to make movies on film anymore. That's probably within a month. So if you don't have digital equipment, you're not showing movies anymore," said Matt Vogel, the Oelwein Theatre Board President.

The new projects operates more like a computer. Instead of using large film reels to show movies, a hard drive now contains the movie and gets inserted into the projector.

Besides the projectors, a new sound system was also installed to enhance the movie theatre experience. The upgrades mean the Oelwein theatre can continue to show movies, specifically new releases.

"I got the email that said what movies we're going to have. The next two weeks we're having openings, and he said you wouldn't have got these if you weren't digital," said Vogel.

The Grand Theatre became a non-profit about two years ago. The board of directors needed to raise about $145,000 for the digital conversion. The last $15,000 was raised in the last few weeks. People actually donated more money than was needed, so the extra is being used to update the concession stand area.

"It's definitely a community theatre, and people have been very, very gracious and helped us out quite a bit," said Matt Vogel.

After being closed for a week, The Grand Theatre is back open for movie-goers featuring the new projectors and sound system.

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