Stouffville movie buffs will soon have a whole new experience as 19 on the Park upgrades its current film screening system.  Last October, council voted in favour of awarding a contract to ProjecTech Entertainment to install a $70,000 system that includes a screen, surround-sound system and digital high-definition projector.

The previous system was purchased in 2008 as the building was being renovated and, at the time, was an excellent system for the centre with the idea of screening Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) movies three or four times a year. However, the popularity of the film screenings has grown. More titles being shown each year, including the addition of matinees in 2017.  The TIFF series has attracted more than 6,000 attendees in recent years, with 2017 being the busiest year with more than 3,000 film-goers.

With no big-name movie theatre in Stouffville and none planned, Ashley Chappell, 19 on the Park cultural facility supervisor, decided it was time to offer residents an option to stay in town for their flicks.

“Stouffville has been very clear, by their current attendance, that they like films but we have heard from patrons and seen requests on social media for more films beyond those available through TIFF,” she said. “Residents want to see family-friendly movies, popular titles for youth and big blockbuster flicks and they want to see them on a high-quality system. So that’s what we’re going to do.”

The new system includes a 25-foot wide by 15-foot tall screen, five new speakers, two new subwoofers, along with a brand-new Barco projector. Notably, Barco is the sole supplier for all digital projection systems to Imax theatres. The new technology will be professionally installed by ProjecTech, who meticulously ensure the system is perfectly aligned for an optimal viewing and audio experience. Part of the sound installation even includes placing small microphones throughout the seats in the theatre to ensure each patron gets the full audio experience, without feedback or distortion.

Chappell explains the improved system with a comparison to cell phone technology.

“When you think about your flip phone from 2008, you realize how much technology has changed in the last 10 years,” she said. “Film projection and sound systems are no different, so we are moving with the times and installing the equivalent of the latest iPhone.”

The first set of blockbuster films should be screening later in January. Check 19onthePark.ca for showtimes and titles.