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Crisper, cleaner, cooler: Park Cinemas transforms to digital technology

Modified: Monday, Jun 13th, 2011

Park Cinemas Manager Jim Reed helps oversee installation of digital technology at Park Cinemas as an employee performs electrical work. OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW – pictured, Park Cinemas new digital technology, which will replace its film, which will be sold. Photos by Josh Petray/Exterior photo by Hayley Thomas.

Park Cinemas owner John Roush is continuing to up the quality of his Paso Robles-based theater, and he knows what it takes to create a quality move-going experience in North County. Currently, Roush is in the process of switching over to digital projectors, which means better viewing for theater attendees. The full switch will be completed this month.

“The digital projection is seamless,” said Roush. “You don't see the jumping on the screen. The 34 millimeter goes through at 24 frames per second and you see a flicker, but with digital it goes through 24 frames per second but it is all electronic so it is a seamless picture and the quality in 3-D – especially animated – is better. The future with digital projectors is going to be amazing. The industry is now expecting to move toward 48 or 60 frames per second and the depth of field will be stronger. It's going to be pretty amazing.”

Moving to digital is not just better for movie goers, but its also environmentally friendly. In addition, it enables theaters to do more. Roush is planning on doing much more with the Park Cinemas.

“We'll be able to do more in terms of concerts and fights and hopefully we're going to be the sporting events like NFL football,” he said. Pay-Per-View events will be available at the theater within a month or two, if all goes to plan, among other spectacles. “When you see football of Pay-Per-View, fights or concerts and you can't see them live, the next best thing is seeing them in a theater on a giant screen,” he said.

According to the theater owner, the possibilities are endless.

“We haven't even explored all the possibilities, but we have been thinking a lot about them,” he said with a smile. Theater-goers should watch for new features within the coming months on top of all the other special features, which include THX certified sound, fresh popcorn (with real butter) and incredible stadium seating.

“It's about the quality of the sound, the picture and viewing angles,” said Roush. “It is very expensive to meet THX criteria and if you know about it you know that THX means excellence.”

The Park Cinemas has also fostered a long and cherished relationship with the Paso Robles community, hosting events and taking part in local fundraisers.

“We try to give back to the community as much as we can,” said Roush. “I have owned the theaters in the North County since 1977, and my customers here have been very good to me and I always try to return the favor. Every occasion the Paso Robles Downtown Main Street asks me to [participate] in, we do. We have a good time doing it.”

Roush said being part of downtown is a constant reminder of how much Paso Robles has to offer.

“There's always something going downtown, and Main Street always has something going on,” Roush said. “The town itself has become so exciting. We have about 65 eating and drinking establishments downtown. The streets are lit up. People are walking everywhere.”

Roush said the theater sees plenty of out-of-town visitors looking for a night of fun in Paso's dynamic downtown.

“They come into the theater and mention to us that we have a nice theater and that they've come from San Luis Obispo,” he said. “The restaurants are top of the line and are very synergistic with everything that's going on downtown.”

Call 227-2172 for more information or visit www.parkcinemas.com.

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