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      18 / -15

      Digital or Die campaign for Upper Michigan theater

      â??We always came down to go to the show on Saturday afternoon or Sunday afternoon was great; go ice skating, then go see the show at 7 oâ??clock,â?? said Eunice Fillman, a patron of the Tahqualand Theatre.

      For generations, the Tahqualand Theatre has been showing films in Newberry. The theater first opened back in 1930 and was purchased by its current owner, Fred Dunkeld, in 1973. Since then, the theater has seen many changes in its time on Newberry Ave., but it is in need of a serious upgrade.

      â??Itâ??s getting harder and harder by the week to get film shipped up here and even to get film anywhere, whereas digital, I can have my choice of 20 movies to show every week,â?? said Dunkeld.

      Currently, the theater continues to use 35mm film to show their movies. Now 18 inches of this film only covers one second of play time which means that it takes 5,400 ft. to cover just one hour, and thatâ??s a good reason why they need to upgrade the projector to go digital, and that alone will cost $50,000.

      â??About 20 small theaters have already closed, and nationwide, thereâ??s about a thousand small theaters faced with a digital dilemma,â?? Dunkeld said.

      A â??Digital or Dieâ?? campaign has been started on in the hopes that the theater can raise enough money to upgrade the theaterâ??s equipment. The goal is to raise $75,000 by April 18. If not, the theater could face dimming the lights for good.