Archive for February 18th, 2013

Town Hall Tech: Movie Theater Goes Dark Without 60K Upgrade

This is a Barco 2K Digital Movie Projector similiar to one being considered for the Town Hall. This one sells for 87K

This is a Barco 2K Digital Movie Projector similiar to one being considered for the Town Hall. This one sells for 87K

Here’s the deal, film buffs: Hollywood is no longer going to produce 35mm film. They are going all digital, all the time starting this year. 2013.  What does that mean for Woodstock? A dark theater. Period. No more movies.  Because all we have is a film projector.

So, you will notice on your printed Town Meeting Warning and hear about on Saturday, March 2nd,  the need to upgrade – YES, IMMEDIATELY – Woodstock’s Town Hall theater with a whole new digital projector, screen, hard drives, audio processors and associated stands.

The total for the entire project — all the equipment and new screen —  to keep movies in Woodstock and bring live streaming and 3-D to our hamlet is large, 60K,  which you will be asked to approve by voice vote on the floor the Saturday after next.  Installation charges and a service contract are being funded through another source.

Projector Maestro Jeff Kahn, who has been researching the project, for which he says four bids have gone out, says the cost to each individual voter, if approved, will be $7.10 per 100K of valuation. He says this is really a one-time deal “forced upon us by Hollywood.”  The equipment being considered is also a 16-channel set-up that will allow for greater data capacity as Hollywood digital changes or expands.

Overall, Kahn says some 10,000 people enjoy movies every year at the Woodstock Town Hall.   He notes with this digital set-up, Pentangle will be able to bring such lively entertainment as the Metropolitan Opera or the Academy Awards or any number of programs not currently available. He adds that the Town Hall Theater is currently “lower tier” in how it gets its 35mm movies — the films are already run somewhere else and may be degraded film with broken-up audio — kinda’ “sloppy seconds” for film. With digital, of course, a “silver screen” “silver lining” will be:  movies “perfect every time.”

Woodstock Early Bird thinks having movies at the Town Hall theater is a “must-continue” in order to keep our small community vital. We note other “big-ticket” articles listed on our Town Meeting Warning that may not be as essential as this. Sure, entertainment isn’t truly vital, life or death situation, but it sure helps us locals get through the winter and provided “something to do” for our visitors who can enjoy the fun of up-to-date first run movies projected in a homey theater.

(Since Woodstock Early Bird often spends a wee bit of winter in California, we have visited  and enjoyed this remarkable “big screen” theater (like Woodstock’s) that has also moved into the 21st century while still maintaining its character — Much as the Pentangle Town Hall Theater seeks to do. Check it out, Larkspur’s Theater brought back to life.

We’ll be reminding you that Town Meeting is Saturday, March 2nd, starting at 10am, with lunch provided next door and it must all end by midnight Saturday. THEN, for articles voted by ballot, you will be asked to RETURN to the Town Hall on Tuesday, March 5th to mark your ballots.  So, Saturday for regular Town Meeting and Tuesday for voting.

But, wait, Early Birds…This is the part that always gets us confused, in a TWITTER as it were. We have a TOWN of Woodstock and a VILLAGE of Woodstock. VILLAGE MEETING is separate and won’t be held Tuesday evening, March 19th at 7pm.  For Village Meeting, you will see a couple NEW items of note:

You will be asked to approve the purchase of 2.1 acres of land for 70K from the Woodstock Foundation for the purpose of development of a new snow dump. The funds already exist if you approve pulling them from the following sources:

Capital Reserve Fund: “Old Fire Station Fund” – $5,000

Capital Reserve Fund: “Parking Facility Fund” – $32,500

General Fund Reserve for Parking Facility — $32,500

The Village Trustees have sought to “zero out” various floating caches of money and this is one way to do so for an important purpose.

Total Village Budget comes in 1.3M, of which $630K is to raised by taxation.  The Town Budget comes in $4.1M of which $3M is to be raised in taxes.

More details to come, Early Birds, but this will do for now!