Film Processing Lab Closes Its Doors
Posted by Alex Nochez on May 15, 2014 - 5:52:48 AM
HOLLYWOOD HILLS—A film processing plant, one of the last in California, was finally closed on May 9.
Film processing room.
Deluxe Laboratories closed their film processing lab on 5433 Fernwood Avenue after Deluxe Chief Operating Officer Warren Stein wrote a letter to the company's clients on March 5 informing them of the closure of the plant, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It was estimated by Variety that between 80 and 100 jobs would be lost when the doors closed, though Deluxe has yet to decide what to do with the physical plant.
The Hollywood Reporter stated that Deluxe had already closed another processing lab in London, leaving their lab in New York as the only remaining processing facility they own in the United States. The company has no other film processing sites in the state, which leaves Fotokem in Burbank as the sole lab of its kind in California.
The closures come after film prints became a dying breed, succumbing to the explosion of digital projection across the world. Variety reported that a study from the National Association of Theatre Owners concluded that 86 percent of the 40,000 screens in both the United States and Canada had been converted to support digital projection. The article further stated that studios only had to spend $100 to strike and deliver one print of film on digital as opposed to the $1,000 average cost when it was done on regular film prints.
In July 2011, competitors Deluxe and Technicolor had entered an agreement that would downsize their film print distribution business. Deluxe would take over Technicolor's 35mm printing operations in the United States and Canada as the latter company ceased operation in those territories. Technicolor agreed to absorb Deluxe's film print distribution in the United States, leading to Deluxe closing its distribution centers by September.
The Los Angeles Times reported in January 2014 that Paramount had officially stopped releasing films on 35mm print, the film “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” being the last to do so. The studio's “The Wolf of Wall Street” was its first film to be released solely in digital.