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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Will digital cinema revive movie classics?

Two entrepreneurs in Glasgow, Scotland are gonna give it a shot. One Scottish cinema chain, Cineworld, already reports that a "classics night" featuring `Top Gun' recently outgrossed new releases.

Brian Pendreigh of The Scotsman writes:

    Analysts predict audiences will rocket as more venues equip themselves with new digital equipment and start showing a wider variety of old classics.

    Leading the trend are two Glasgow entrepreneurs, John Letham, a former electronics marketing executive, and Nick Varley, who used to run the city's Grosvenor cinema. They have acquired theatrical rights to more than 6,000 old movies, including the James Bond and Carry On series.

    Next month, they are re-releasing the Martin Scorsese classic Taxi Driver, starring Robert De Niro, and in August Oklahoma! gets an outing.

    Letham says the arrival of digital cinema - which replaces huge, fragile reels of film with dirt-cheap discs - has made it economically possible to return classic movies to the big screen. Taxi Driver will be a traditional film print costing anything from £2,000-£7,000, while many copies of Oklahoma! will be £50 digital copies.