VC plans to bring movies to Welder Center

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Dec. 11, 2013 at 6:11 a.m.
Updated Dec. 12, 2013 at 6:12 a.m.

A regular venue for independent film screenings is brewing in downtown Victoria.

Victoria College officials are investigating what it would cost to purchase a new projection system for the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.

"We have known for a while now that we wanted to be able to have high-end video equipment so that we could show movies at the Welder Center," said Victoria College President Tom Butler. "And particularly so that we could support the annual film festival that's run in Victoria."

The purchase would eliminate projection rental costs by the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival.

And while the film festival is the main priority at this point, the college does not want to limit itself, Butler said.

"I don't see why we wouldn't bring in more thought-provoking films of interest to folks," Butler said.

This fall, the city of Victoria granted the college about $60,000 in hotel and motel tax dollars for the purchase of the new equipment.

With the city funds coupled with private donations and money from the college, Butler said, they are ready to make the purchase.

However, the purchase of a high-definition projector was pulled from the agenda at a Victoria College Board of Trustees Special Meeting on Wednesday after consultation with the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival's Executive Director Anthony Pedone.

"We want to try to get something that is future-proof," Pedone said. "The technology in the film industry is shifting toward a digital cinema package format."

The digital cinema package format is a bundled media package created by the film industry in an effort to control piracy and to provide high-quality definition on the screen, Pedone said.

"Ultimately, we're trying to be the best stewards of the city's money that we can be," Pedone said.

The high-definition projection equipment that trustees would have considered purchasing originally would have cost the college about $80,000, said Jennifer Yancey, Victoria College vice president of college advancement and external affairs.

College officials hope to purchase the equipment before the hotel and motel tax funds reach their expiration date, Yancey said.

"We hope to bring it back to the board fairly soon," Yancey said. "We're just hoping to use our resources as appropriately as possible."



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