North Idaho

Hayden Cinema 6 falls victim to digital transition

SPOKANE, Wash. - North Idaho moviegoers will have one less place to catch a flick come Monday morning when the Hayden Cinema 6 closes this weekend.

The theater's owner said Tuesday it's not a decision he wanted to make; one of the main reasons though is the conversion from 35mm to digital.

For the past 15 years the Hayden Cinema 6 has been offering up bottomless popcorn, friendly service and competitive prices, but come Monday morning the projectors will stop rolling.

"Just kind of a shame to see a small business close," Stan Favini, who went to the theater to see '42' with his wife Tuesday, said.

Hayden Cinema 6 closing

Once Monday rolls around the only theater in Kootenai County will be in Coeur d'Alene.

"For my wife and I it was really handy to use 'cause we were just up the street a little ways," Favini said.

The theater owner said with Hollywood making the switch from 35mm films to digital he'd have to spend close to $400,000 on new equipment.

"This place is going to be ending on it's 60th anniversary," Auto-vue owner Steve Wisner said.

Wisner's drive-in movie theater in Colville faced the same problem and he couldn't afford to make the digital transition.

"$94,000 for the screen and $82,000 for the digital," Wisner said.

Some experts say the move to digital movies could end up closing 30-percent of theaters across the country, making it harder to find big movie deals.

"In this economy its fantastic to have that opportunity and to realize there is not going to be any other movie theater that is going to provide that in this area or county," Anna Marie Callaghan said.

While the Hayden Cinema 6 will close this weekend there has already been interest to buy the building.