The Cable Car Needs Your Help

The Cable Car Cinema and Cafe, Providence's venerable art house, is in a pickle.

The big studios, sadly, are phasing out 35 millimeter prints. And by the end of this year, it will be tough for theaters that haven't made the conversion to digital projection to keep on keeping on.

The 35-year-old Cable Car hasn't yet made the shift. And it's an expensive undertaking. Hence, a new Kickstarter campaign that seeks to raise $48,500 by midnight on March 31.

Co-owner Daniel Kamil tells me this is something of an existential fight. Films account for about 45 percent of the Cable Car's revenue and the theater will be "severely restricted" in what it can show without digital projection.

It's already a difficult time for small theaters, what with Netflix and our growing television sets. Indeed, the Cable Car renovation that began in 2010 - a new screen, murals by local artists, replacement of the beloved couches - was designed to draw us out of our living rooms. Digital projection is the last phase of that renovation.

There are a whole bunch of goodies available for those who donate: private screenings, limited edition posters, even Italian lessons. 


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