The Department of Defence is running a tender to upgrade Wagga Wagga's Kapooka Military Area Theatre to digital projection.

The call for applications comes as the industry nears the end of an era as the last 35mm film projectors are replaced by digital equipment. The major cinema chains in Australia have largely completed their upgrades over the past year although a number of smaller independent cinemas are still in transition.

In its tender document, the Department of Defence noted that a number of films are no longer available in the 35mm format and the Cinema Exhibitors Film Protection Committee will soon close.

“This is further evidence of the major and rapid shift to digital technologies,” it said. “With the closure of this committee there will be no insurance coverage for the loss/damage of 35mm film whilst in transit.”

The department plans to upgrade the cinema with a Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) compliant digital projector, a digital cinema server, silver screen and accessories. It has also requested separate price options for 2K, 4K and 3D systems.

“The continued operation of this facility as a cinema is very important to the resident military personnel as this equipment is an integral part of the recruit training package.”

The Department of Defence tender closes on March 25 and installation is due to be completed by May 15. The tender documents can be viewed here.

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