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Four Area Theaters May Shut Down

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By Alexa Tieu

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The Motor Vu and Grand Vu theaters have been a part of the community for decades.

But soon, they and other theaters in the area may be forced to shut down.

Drive–in theaters are a big part of our community.

But soon, those theaters and the memories may be gone.

"In September of last year, they started cutting 35 millimeter prints," says Larry Roper, Interstate Amusement.

The drive–ins both play 35 mm film, something movie studios may not provide much longer.

Roper says, "For the studios, it's economics. A 35 mm print will run between $2,000 and $2,500. They can make a digital drive for $20."

Converting the theaters to play digital films isn't cheap.

"The conversion costs for the drive–ins could be in the neighborhood of $80,000."

But the conversion won't just affect the drive–ins. Interstate Amusement's Jerome Cinema 4 and Orpheum theaters also play 35 mm film.

"When they say the 35 mm prints are done, we will be closing the drive–ins for permanent, The Orpheum will go and so will Jerome," says Roper.

Many people take advantage of the Motor Vu and Grand Vu.

"We use the drive–ins all the time. It's a really cheap affordable way for us to go to the movies as a family," says April Schlund, Twin Falls Resident.

And, they aren't looking forward to seeing the theaters go.

Roper says, "We've been here for 41 years and drive–ins is what started it all for us."

"If that wasn't in the community anymore, that would really be sad and it would be definitely something we would miss," says Schlund.

Both drive–ins and the Orpheum Theater are old enough to qualify as historic landmarks.

Roper explains he is searching for funding and grants to preserve the buildings.

Because of the digital conversion, over 10,000 theaters will be closing nationwide.


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