Projecting the future at Adam Smith

Projectionist Paul Robertson with the new digital projector
Projectionist Paul Robertson with the new digital projector

THE installation of a brand new digital cinema system sees Kirkcaldy’s Adam Smith Theatre step into a new age of film.

The hi-tech equipment has replaced one of the cinema’s analogue 35mm projectors and will be of benefit to both the theatre and the local community.

The digital system means new films can be shown at the theatre sooner after their release in cinemas nationwide and also in superior quality than before.

The upgrade also makes the theatre on Bennochy Road only the third cinema in Scotland to have a permanent Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound system.

The others are in Dominion One in Edinburgh and Grosvenor One in Glasgow.

‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen’, starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, was only in cinemas around 10 weeks ago.

But it will be the theatre’s first film to be digitally projected by the new Christie CP2220 projector tonight (Thursday) when it kick starts the Adam Smith’s summer film programme.

Mark Wheelwright, the theatre’s operations manager, said: “This upgrade means we’ll be able to show new films sooner and in better quality than ever before.

“We’re particularly excited about Disney Pixar’s ‘Brave’ which we’ll be showing in digital from August 3 - a full week ahead of many other cinemas in the UK.”

Broadcasts

The new technology also opens more doors for the theatre, with future possibilities on the cards including receiving high quality satellite broadcasts of major theatre, dance and live events, such as the National Theatre’s NT:Live series.

Paul Robertson has been a projectionist at the theatre for 18 years.

He told the Press: “I’m looking forward to using the digital projector, but I suppose we will miss the old one.

“It’s the end of an era of film. In the next couple of years really 35mm will disappear from venues once it gets to a certain percentage across the country digitally they will stop doing it and things will be digital only.

“Skills will in time disappear once that happens, such as joining all the separate spools that make the film together.”

But with the way technology is moving these days the pros outweigh the cons and the new system offers a number of advantages.

The theatre also still has one 35mm projector available to use when needed.

Picture quality

Paul continued: “The picture quality will improve for one thing.

“At times with prints you’d be getting films that were damaged, but technically we shouldn’t have those problems.

“You are always going to be able to get a good quality copy.

“The sound will also be bettter, but not every film is going to be in 7.1 sound. Usually it’s from certain filmhouses like Disney.

“It will give us a better selection of films to show as even at the moment there are production houses which only produce their films digitally.

“In terms of getting films sooner after they’ve been in other cinemas, that will be another advantage as before there were at times perhaps only five prints of a film available.

“We’d have to wait our turn to get hold of the copy and we’d be quite far down the list.

“Now though, if we’re looking to show a film they can just make another copy of it and send it up to us.”