Malta is dedicating 500,000 EUR toward the digitalisation of its cinemas as part of the country’s 2014 budget.
Malta Today reports that the announcement was made by the Culture Secretary and the Finance Minister.
In addition to the upgrading of cinemas, which was deemed necessary to keep the country’s cinemas operational, 1,000 free cinema tickets will be distributed to school children in an effort to boost attendance and there are plans to launch incentives to provide discounted tickets for senior citizens. Further funding will come from the 50 EUR fee charged to each film that screens in Malta. The fee previously went to a Film Classification Board which no longer exists. Instead it will now go into a creative trust fund.
Malta saw the closing of the two-screen Citadel Cinema, the only cinema on the island of Gozo, in March 2013. There are only 37 screens in Malta, which left it at a disadvantage in accessing private international digitalisation funding in recent years.