Roxie gains beer & better projection; hopes to gain members

Late last year, when the major theater chains refused to screen The Interview
for fear of North Korean terrorists, San Francisco’s own Roxie offered to show the comedy. Sony turned them down for technical reasons: The Roxie could screen it in 35mm or Blu-ray, but Sonly would only send the movie out to theaters in DCP.

The lack of a DCP-capable digital projector is a major shortcoming for a movie theater these days; even an eclectic theater like the Roxie. Most new movies aren’t available in any other format. And even classics are becoming easier to rent on a hard drive than on multiple reels of 35mm film.

So I’m delighted to let you know that the Roxie now has a DCP-compatible (the official term is DCI-compliant) projector. The next time terrorists (or hackers pretending to be terrorists) scare the multiplexes from screening a big Hollywood blockbuster, the Roxie will be waiting and able.

And don’t worry about the death of film. The Big Roxie still has two 35mm reel-to-reel projectors, able to project the old-fashioned way.

And if you find the images from any of these projectors too sharp, you can blur your own perceptions with beer or hard cider, now on sale at the Roxie’s concession stand. The Roxie has a license to drink. (Okay, it’s a license to sell drinks, but only beer and cider.)

But with all these changes, the Roxie needs money. So the theater is pushing a membership drive this month. According to the Roxie’s announcement, a membership buys you “free or discounted admissions, free popcorn, private screenings and more.”