New equipment installed at The Beltonian Theatre is enhancing movie-goer’s viewing experience with surround sound and high-resolution images on a bigger screen.
Owner Zechariah Baker said the theater’s new speakers, screen and projector have been in place for three or four months now, giving the facility the capability to show new movies.
“It’s changed the ability that I’ve had to book some different types of content in a little bit better format, provide people an even better experience,” he said.
For just a few weeks, the Beltonian will be showing a new release on the new screen. Baker said he was approached by the distributor of the upcoming shark thriller “47 Meters Down: Uncaged.” He said the distributor was looking for venues willing to show the new film, and Baker thought it would be a great way to showcase the theater’s new equipment.
“47 Meters Down: Uncaged” will be shown at the Beltonian Aug. 16-28. Showtimes and tickets are available online at thebeltoniantheatre.com.
Baker said, though the Beltonian is now capable of showing new releases, this will probably be a one-time event for this year.
“I’m doing a lot of concerts and special events, and a lot of times when you book new movies, the bigger distributers don’t like that you can’t show the movie on certain days or times,” he said. “This distributor was willing to work around all the private events that I had – the rentals and concerts and everything – they were happy with what they could get. And that’s kind of a rare thing.”
Baker said he hasn’t previewed the movie, but he’s heard great things.
“47 Meters Down: Uncaged” follows four teens diving in a ruined underwater city, who soon find out they are not alone in the submerged caves. As they swim deeper into the claustrophobic labyrinth of caves, they enter the territory of deadly sharks.
“Besides having high resolution on screen for the picture, there used to be some curtains and some other things in the theater beside the screen that I’ve taken down to allow about 30 percent bigger picture, much clearer resolution,” Baker said. “The sound will make your seat rumble.”
He said the theater showed the first “Jurassic Park” film a couple of weeks ago and “people could have sworn there were dinosaurs running through the theater.” He said the new equipment really highlights the things newer movies can do.
“Surround sound is a relatively new concept,” he said. “The older the movie, the more the sound came just from the front speakers. And so for a long time, there was a big premium on getting the best possible speakers in the front of the house. Well now, with surround sound in 5.1 and 7.1 capabilities – and I’m 7.1 capable – it really provides a great experience and allows people to hear things how the directors and producers intended.”
Baker said he’s excited to reshow some old movies using this new technology, and also to be available to show new releases if the circumstance presents itself.
He said the newer movies sound great and the upgrades enhance the older films above and beyond.
“So I’m really excited to not necessarily compete, but to provide the same experience a filmgoer would get in a newer theater, so that was kind of the goal,” Baker said.