Westlake Cinema at Smith Mountain Lake Announces Digital Cinema Conversion

Westlake Cinema is scheduled to begin converting to digital cinema in late April. The process will take approximately one week and plans to debut its new technology with the release of Marvel’s The Avengers on Friday, May 4th.

There are a number of advantages converting to digital cinema. “The viewing quality will greatly improve the overall movie going experience and we will now have the capabilities to show 3-D (three –dimensional) movies,” stated Thomas Althoff, General Manager at Westlake Cinema.

Althoff added that a premium of $3.50 will be set for 3-D movies, which is industry standard.

Converting to digital cinema consists of replacing traditional 35MM film with an electronic copy. This removes any of the image degradation seen with traditional 35MM projection systems.  Westlake Cinema partnered with Sonic Equipment Company based in Iola, Kansas for the project. They will be installing industry leading Christie® DLP Cinema® projectors.

According to Lee Willard, Vice President of Corporate Holding at The Willard Companies, owners of Westlake Cinema, “Converting to digital is a good business decision. Although there is a large cost in doing so, we believe it will provide a better financial future for Westlake Cinema. Not only will our theater be able to play 3-D movies, but we have also positioned ourselves to be on the cutting edge with high frame-rate technology. We are very excited to bring the 3-D and digital movie experience to the local community so folks no longer have to drive outside of the area to enjoy.” The projectors will have the ability to play the newest “high frame-rate” films such as The Hobbit this December, Willard added.

The company estimates the conversion costs around $275,000 to complete. Westlake Cinema will continue to operate business as usual without any interruption to hours of operation.  Future 3-D showings will include Men in Black III, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, Prometheus, The Amazing Spider-Man, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.


About Westlake Cinema (www.westlakecinema.) – Westlake Cinema is a 13,800-square-foot cinema featuring a four-plex movie theater with stadium seating, concessions and games. In addition, Westlake Cinema offers Dolby® Digital Surround Sound and optional headphones hooked to a USL Infrared Hearing System for those with hearing impairments. Westlake Cinema’s goal is to offer moviegoers an upscale theater with first run movies, state of the art sound system and full service concession area.

About Sonic Equipment Company (www.sonicequipment.com) – Sonic Equipment Company is a leading provider of sales, service, installation, new construction, remodeling, and consulting to community-owned theatres and independent exhibitors. They staff a fully trained and certified group of technicians, installers, and sales managers to meet the needs of today’s growing digital cinema industry.