Studio 35, the venerable movie house on Indianola Avenue - hence its original name, the Indianola Theatre, when it opened in 1938 - will close at some future date to undergo renovations and improvements.

Studio 35, the venerable movie house on Indianola Avenue - hence its original name, the Indianola Theatre, when it opened in 1938 - will close at some future date to undergo renovations and improvements.

When the closing will take place, how long it will last and how much work will be done remains to be determined, according to owner Eric Brembeck.

"It's in flux," Brembeck said last week. "We want to upgrade the theater. It's really been the same since the 1930s.

"It's due for some upkeep and that kind of stuff."

Decisions about timing and the extent of upgrades fall into different categories.

There's what Brembeck would like to do, such as new seating and lighting along with more soundproofing of the old building's walls.

"Nothing is definitive," he said. "There are so many moving parts."

There's also what the theater owner can afford to do.

"We're going to have to explore loans and the like to do this project," Brembeck said.

And then there's what he definitely has to do, at least at some point.

"The other issue is that film is going away," Brembeck said. "Movies are no longer going to be distributed on 35-millimeter film, so it's also exploring the new digital projectors that are coming out. I think over half the country has converted already. A lot of theaters around here have already converted."

No firm date has yet been set for the demise of film, but the Studio 35 owner feels it's best to be prepared before a deadline exists.

"You sort of don't want to be caught with your hand not in the cookie jar, so to speak," Brembeck said.

Executives at Fox Studios have indicated they might no longer distribute movies on film by the end of this year or the middle of next, he added.

An article on the website of the National Association of Theatre Owners describes the shift from film to digital as "the most transformative revolution since the talkies."

"Nowhere is the conflict more pronounced than among the small-town, few-screen operators who have anchored the movie industry in countless communities across North America," the site states.

"The digital transition is a strange expectation. Even the best-case scenarios currently proffered for independents, for full-time first-run theatres, compel many thousands of dollars in site modifications (and) a $10,000 and upwards exhibitor contribution per screen before anything happens."

In making plans for not only the transition to digital projecting but also other improvements to Studio 35, Brembeck said that he's able to rely for help on industry experts.

"Just being a movie theater, we have a national group that I'm a part of," Brembeck said. "We have an annual convention that we go to, so there are companies in the country that deal specifically with theaters so you're sort of, 'OK, this is our situation, here's what we'd like to do, how do we go about it?'"

Whatever is done, the owner said, is intended to help bring more patrons to Studio 35.

"I always need to expand my audience," Brembeck said. "I always want to expand my audience, but we have received immense support from the community with our programming. We've plowed the money we've made back into the theater and we'll continue to do that."