Cootamundra will have access to new-release movies at the same time they are playing in Sydney, Canberra and Wagga, thanks to a $70,000 refit of the projection booth at The Arts Centre Cootamundra (TACC).
On Wednesday TACC launched its "Digital Cinema Initiatives" (DCI) system with an audience of 35 to see "Top End Marriage".
The opening was performed by councillor Stewie Stewart, standing in for mayor Abb McAlister, one of 70 NSW mayors who have been attending a local government conference on the Central Coast this week to discuss the challenges and successes of the forced council amalgamations of December 2015.
Cr Stewart paid tribute to the determination of TACC committee members, volunteers and Isabel Scott along with council staff.
"Thanks to these people, and to the $60,000 grant from the NSW government's Stronger Country Communities program, Cootamundra residents no longer have to travel to see new-release movies and have an opportunity to enjoy a selection of new movies for all ages," Cr Stewart said.
"Special appreciation goes to the volunteers who have provided this community with entertainment. The technical expertise and knowledge provided to get this system up and running is a wonderful resource."
Cinema at TACC previously was similar to home DVDs, with TACC buying DVDs from producers then paying movie producers a premium for a public viewing licence.
Jason Manning, owner of Cootamundra business DMX Technologies, said the new system involves cinema-quality hard drives sent out by Disney or some similar movie distributor and arriving only days after they're available in Sydney.
"Then myself of one of the other 'ingestors' put it onto the server attached to the projector, then we get emailed the key that gets put on there so we're allowed to view it.
"It's a bit different. The previous system was pretty much a home use, with a DVD of around 4.7 gigabytes, whereas the hard drives are 160 gigs, plus."
"They get here only days after capital city release, so we're getting up there with the times, finally."
Cr Stewart said TACC had first applied for Stronger Communities funding in 2016, but had been unsuccessful.
"With the help of CGRC project managers Maxine Imrie and Ray Luff working in collaboration with TACC's Isabel Scott and DMX Technologies the application was successful in 2018."
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said she was thrilled her government had funded the project, which would help to further diversify the resources and activities TACC would be able to offer to the community.