Rio Theater to show old movies on Tuesdays

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Fans of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Lassie, and old movies of all kinds will have the chance to see them on the big screen every Tuesday night at the Rio Theater beginning Sept. 2.

“What we’re doing is providing a vintage movie night, featuring all kinds of older black and white and color classic movies, cartoons and shorts,” Rio owner Mike Kinney said. “We have a new digital projector system that allows us to put quality public-domain DVDs up on the screen.”

The digital projector provides opportunities for much more in private parties, Kinney said. He can put X-Box and Playstation Two games up on the big screen with remote controllers for birthday parties, for example.

Tuesday night movies will cost $2. Two-dollar Tuesdays will begin the first week of September.

Kinney said he figured Tuesday was a good night for the movie special because other nights are busy with sports, meetings and other activities.

“I can’t show modern movies commercially on the digital projection system,” Kinney said, although “I’m capable of putting anything on the screen.”

“I’m a movie fanatic from way back,” Kinney said, although, “I very rarely get the chance to watch a movie here because I’m always working. Sometimes I have to wait for the DVD.”

Among the first movies he will screen is Kirk Douglas’ “The Big Trees,” from 1952.

“That’s really a very great movie about the cutting of the redwoods,” Kinney said. “It is absolutely a very beautiful, great, scenic movie.”

The upcoming showing of a Lassie movie is one of the best suspenseful Lassie movies ever made, Kinney said.

Kinney already has 45 to 50 movie titles ready to go on the big screen, he said, and the Rio will have many more later on as he finds out what people would like to see.

The projection system can be used for private showings, and the theater is open to a variety of other uses, including concerts, political and religious functions and family events.

The projection system is available for all kinds of uses, Kinney said. That’s the idea behind his buying the equipment.

Anything that can be run by a computer can be screened, including PowerPoint presentations, Kinney said. “I can put it on the big screen.”

He is dropping national advertising in favor of local advertising before weekend movies show. The new system will allow him to transfer information from floppy discs to the big screen.

“Thirty-five millimeter film is still slightly better than what you can project on a digital projector,” Kinney said, but that’s changing and studios are starting to equip theaters with digital projection systems.

The Rio will not switch to digital projection right now for new movies, Kinney said. That will come later when the quality is higher and theaters are not bound by the studios’ telling them what time to screen the films.