According to industry trends, by early 2013 movie theaters using 35MM prints will be virtually non-existent as theaters across the country convert to digital picture and sound. As a result, Army & Air Force Exchange Service theaters, which use 35MM prints, have been undergoing extensive reviews to determine the cost-effectiveness of converting its theaters to a digital format.
After a thorough review of the Davis-Monthan theater, it was determined that, with a cost of approximately $120,000 to convert to the digital and the availability of local off-base entertainment venues, the continued operation of the theater is not viable.
“With a dual mission to provide quality goods and services while returning a dividend for quality of life programs, upgrading and continuing to operate theaters that are not viable is untenable for a self-sustaining entity such as the Exchange,” said Davis-Monthan Exchange’s General Manager Cathy J. Ely. “We will still continue to provide avenues for Soldiers, Airmen and their Families to see all the Hollywood hits with our wide selection of DVDs and Blu-Rays available at the Exchange as well as through Instaflix kiosks.”
The Instaflix kiosk, an entertainment vending machine at the Commissary, Express/Class VI, Housing Express and Main Store, offers a selection of 600-800 discs per kiosk and lets users rent DVDs overnight for $1.29 and Blu-ray discs for $1.49. Once customers rent videos, remembering when to return them is simple as rentals are due the next business day by 6 p.m., no matter what time they were rented.
The final showing at the Davis-Monthan Theater will be Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.