The Pharaohplex Theater, between Hamilton and Corvallis, has been busy in the projection booths while the final film projectors are being removed and replaced with digital projectors.

As owner Joe McLean noted on his theater's website, by the end of the year, nationally released movies will no longer be distributed on film. The whirring of the sprockets (see photo), the broken or scratched film and the constant worry of the various mechanical parts of the large platter projectors will be gone.

The Bitterroot Valley's only movie theater, the Pharaohplex, has been trying to stay ahead of the game, and was an early adopter of digital and 3-D digital projection systems. Now, the entire complex of six theaters will be running the films on computer.

Joe explains the challenges and has links to three videos for more information about the changes.

And, oh yes, he's got "Star Trek Into Darkness" in both Dolby Digital 3-D and 2-D opening this weekend.

By the way, when the next "Hobbit" movie comes out, in the new 48 frames format, the Hamilton theater will be able to handle that, too, "going where no man has gone..." Yeah, you get the picture.

Those of us who have actually worked in movie theaters with the clunky old projectors are, of course, nostalgic as another cultural shift is thrust upon us. For instance, how we present programs and music on the radio. From reel-to-reel tape records to vinyl records, to cassettes, to CDs, to hard drives...time marches on.