While ticket prices are still the least expensive around, a Wapa Theater spokeswoman says attendees will see an increase in movie prices beginning Nov. 1 followed by an improvement in picture and sound quality.
The change is being made due to the industry completely switching over to digital from 35mm film. The transition is expected to be completely finished by October 2012.
“This will enable us to get more first-run movies,” theater manager Becky Jordan said. “However, we do have to raise the prices to be able to stay open. The equipment alone for the upgrades will cost $85,000.”
Improvements to be made include a new projector, quality sound processors, digital server as well as other film equipment.
“We have chosen to continue operation and bring to our loyal patrons the best quality in picture and sound entertainment in the industry, and therefore, will be increasing our prices to offset this additional cost,” Jordan said in a news release. “We hope that our customers understand that our choice to upgrade is a necessity if we are to continue to be a first-run movie operation since top-rated movies will not be available on film in the future.”
New ticket prices will go from the present $3 per person to $4.50 beginning Nov. 1. Concession prices will also increase slightly, but the $1 refills for popcorn and soft drinks will still be available.
“This way we will be able to better keep up with the industry,” Jordan said. “Our projection is that within the next 18-plus months, the film will be replaced with all digital imaging and only the existing movie film will be available for viewing on the equipment we now have. We hope that we will have our customers continued loyalty and we promise to deliver a much improved viewing and sound experience in the very near future.”