Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater goes digital: The show goes on

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The Majestic Theater in Gettysburg is, indeed, majestic. The main theater in this restored complex seats an audience of more than 800. And the theater will remain open, having updated its projection system to digital. Also of interest:  Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater: ‘This was a golden project’.

The film future of several area moviehouses are uncertain because of the switch to digital film, but Gettysburg’s Majestic has a clear path.

The Majestic has installed two digital projectors, according to York Daily Record/Sunday News’ entertainment reporter Erin McCracken’s recent story – Movie industry’s switch to digital hits theaters – especially small ones - in the wallet on how moviehouses are faring with the change.

The most noticeable change at the Majestic?

The chattering sound of the 35-millimeter film moving through the projector will be no more.

Here’s a bit of history about the Majestic, courtesy of Erin’s “Last Reel:”

“The Majestic Theater opened on Nov. 14, 1925 with Cecile B. DeMille’s 10-reel stem-winder, ‘The Road to Yesteryear,’ and nightly films continued uninterrupted until we closed the theater in 2004 for a 16-month, $20-million renovation and expansion,” Jeffrey W. Gabel, the Majestic’s executive director, wrote in an email message.

He also noted that in the early ’60s, former President Dwight Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, came to the Majestic every Wednesday to view westerns. The theater also hosted two film premieres: In 1970, a Gettysburg College professor rented the theater for the North American premiere of Federico Fellini’s “Satyricon.” In 1993, Ted Turner held the world premiere of his Civil War epic “Gettysburg” at the Majestic.

Before a 2004-05 renovation, the Majestic was the only movie theater in Adams County, Gabel wrote.

“During the 16 months we were closed for renovation, two cineplexes opened in Gettysburg, so commercial films were no longer available to us,” Gabel wrote. “We switched to first-run independent and foreign films which (are a) better fit for a performing arts center.”

Last year, he noted, saw the theater’s best attendance year ever with nearly 22,000 patrons attending films, including “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Anna Karenina,” “Argo” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Also of interest

The film showing future of two remaining oldtime York County moviehouses is not as clear. Check out Last Reel to learn more about the Capitol Theater in York and the Glen Theater in Glen Rock.

 

Also

For a roundup by Erin McCracken about how a long list of regional moviehouses are faring, check out: Last Reel.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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