When I was a a boy we had a Super 8 projector and a bunch of those one-reel, ten minute movies. All of them were horror. It was great. TV parties were and always will be cool, but there was something especially wonderful, magical, about hanging a sheet against a wall and threading the film into the projector. The neighborhood kids would all come over and marvel at our little impromptu movie theater.

Going to the movies was always magical, too. No home theater system could match the experience of seeing a motion picture in a darkened theater with an audience of strangers. A big part of it was hearing the film clacking through the sprockets of the projector. Watching dust motes lazily dancing in the ghostly light of the film being projected onto the screen.

As with everything else, the movie experience was bigger and better at the drive-in. That beam of light which carried dreams and nightmares across the night sky was heavenly, majestic.

If you go to the movies now, chances are very good that you will be watching a digital presentation. There are a few holdouts, mainly in independent houses that specialize in older movies. Film projectors are not being manufactured any more.

Is this a bad thing? No, I don't believe so. Digital photography and projection looks and sounds magnificent. It's cheaper too, which is important. Some movies are incredibly profitable, but most do not even make their money back. Costly film doesn't have to be bought and replaced whenever bad takes are done.

Any way you look at it, digital photography and projection is the superior way to go. So why do I feel as though we've lost something?

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