Digital age prompting closure of base theaters

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ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. (AP) — Many U.S. military bases around the globe are losing their movie theaters as the industry converts from 35 millimeter film to digital projection.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service says it's not cost effective at some theaters to invest the $120,000 per theater to convert to the new format. Sixty base theaters around the globe are closing. Sixty others are making the switch.

Stateside base theaters show second-run movies, which draw lower ticket prices and attendance. They've also been hurt by increased competition from video streaming services and DVD rental kiosks.

The Ellsworth Air Force Base theater in South Dakota had its last showing Saturday.

Stacey Darling says the base theater is more affordable than the multiplex in nearby Rapid City. Her husband is an airman in southwest Asia.

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