The Avalon Theater's film projector is a relic from the past. But it may keep the theater from moving into the future.
For decades, movies have been shown using similar projectors. But a move to digital technology is forcing movie theaters to make costly changes.
"We don't really have a choice in this matter," says Bill Oberdorfer, the Avalon Theater's general manager.
He says it will cost $125,000 to make the change.
That's money the nonprofit theater, located at 5612 Connecticut Avenue NW, does not currently have.
And time is running out. Prints compatible with old projectors will end being made or shipped at some point this year or early next year.
The theater was brought back to life about a decade ago when a major movie theater chain pulled out and the Avalon closed.
The community got behind it financially and it reopened.
"This is here because the community stood behind it," says Linda Herson, a D.C. resident.