The new projectors replace 35 millimeter movie projectors, outdated equipment unable to play digital movies. Digital movies are what is being distributed now, not 35 millimeter film.
The new projectors mark a new era for the Rialto, a classic movie theater built in 1948.
“We have audio upgrades and new speakers for the No. 2 screen,” said Virginia Herring, who leases the theater from the Economic Development Corporation of Three Rivers.
“And we have upgraded the sound system,” she said.
Sonic Equipment, of Iola, Kan., installed the new projectors.
Patrick Megenity and Tim Thompson said their company works all over the country on installations and upgrades like the Rialto’s.
The EDC spent $114,000 for the new projectors and upgrades.
But Herring said additional expenses for carpenters and electricians were incurred.
She guessed the final cost would approach $120,000.
Jim Huff, president of the EDC, said the EDC’s 501c3 non-profit status expired, so the organization borrowed the money from the bank to pay for the projectors and upgrades to keep first-run movies coming in the new year.
Huff said the 501c3 will be reinstated within 60 days.
“After that we will be seeking donations to pay for the projectors,” he said.
Rialto moviegoers on Friday night, Jan. 11, saw “This Is 40” and “Jack Reacher” in high quality pictures and greatly improved audio, according to Herring.